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October 22, 2016: In Kyrgyzstan, a widower had to bury his wife three times. The reason, she was a Christian. The incident has released tension in the country over the freedom of religions.

Kanygul Satyabaldieva passed away at an age of 76, in Sary-Talaa, her home village in southern Kyrgyzstan’s Ala-Buka district, on 13th October 2016. Her daughter, Jyldyz Azaeva has been struggling to give her mother a proper funeral.


When Jyldyz buried her in the local Muslim and Russian Orthodox cemetery, the villagers protested against it. The poor woman’s body was exhumed due to her Baptist faith. The family found themselves in the middle of a rising dispute in which the entire village turned against them.

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On 14th October, the Imam, followed by a large crowd have visited the family and asked Jyldyz to leave Christianity and convert to Islam. Even though, she agreed to their terms for the sake of her mother, the Imam informed her that she could bury her mother in her family’s garden.

Losing all hope they turned to the local officials who arranged her mother’s burial in the nearby village of Oruktu. But after the body was interred, the Muslim leaders of Oruktu started objecting Kanygul’s burial in the cemetery and as a result, a second exhumation order was issued.

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[bctt tweet=”Kimsanbai Hajji has issued a fatwa banning the burial of followers of other religions together with Muslims.” username=””]

The family then accepted an offer by the local officials to bury Kanygul in the municipal cemetery of the district capital, Ala-Buka. But after the burial, Azaeva said that both local Christian and Muslim leaders of the town agreed that she must be dug up and removed again. This time the problem was that Kanygul was a Baptist and thus many Kyrgyz citizens traditionally accepted the notions of the Christianity, which is the Russian Orthodox Church.

Finally, Kanygul was buried in a secret location known only to the family and the local officials.

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The widower, Akjol Akaev, broke to tears by the callous treatment of his wife after her death. “Oh, my dearest, may you be in paradise now after this ordeal you have been through,” he said “Whoever did these things to you will surely have to answer for their deeds.”

The event emphasises the extent to which the freedom of religion is narrowed down despite the fact that states welcome all faiths and promises their freedom. “The first-ever mufti of our independent country, Kimsanbai Hajji, issued a fatwa banning the burial of followers of other religions together with Muslims. The current mullahs are following this order,” said Dilmurat Orozov, a representative of the Muslim NGO Islam Taalimi in Bishkek.

by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53


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