Kyrgyz police investigate possible hate-crime arson of Baptist church


KAJI-SAI, Kyrgyzstan -- Police in Kaji-Sai village, Chui Province, are probing a fire at a Baptist church as potential arson, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported last Thursday (January 4).

The church fire occurred Wednesday (January 3) night and caused no casualties, Ton District police spokesman Stalbek Usubakunov told RFE/RL.

The culprit or culprits reportedly threw Molotov cocktails into the church's windows, Aleksandr Shumilin, chairman of the country's Evangelical Christian Churches' Association, told RFE/RL.

Pamir Kutuyev, mayor of Kaji-Sai, warned not to assume that the fire was a hate crime, noting that the church had operated without incident since Soviet times.

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