Thursday, November 6, 2008

New religious regulations in Krygyzstan

As reported here, government officials in Krygystan, a small central Asian country, yesterday passed a bill that places new restrictions on the operations of religious groups. If President Bakiyev signs the bill, which is expected, certain types of proselytizing will be outlawed and religious teaching in private schools will be forbidden.

Critics say the bill curtains fundamental human rights. Supporters say the bill promotes better oversight and reduces religious tensions. Economists of religion say that the regulations are an attempt to curtail religious competition that will benefit religious groups already entrenched in the society by reducing religious consumers' viable religious alternatives.

I do not know the background of the bill or what are the particular interests of those who promoted it. A student could look more into this and write up what they found, using economics to talk about the incentives of the different relevant actors.

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