Kostanay -- A centre for helping victims of destructive religious sects has opened in Kostanay (the administrative centre of Kazakhstan's [northern] Kostanay Region).
A regional representative in Kazakhstan of the Russian association of centres for studying religions and sects, Yuliya Denisenko, said this was "the first and so far the only centre of its kind in Kazakhstan". The opening ceremony was held last Friday.
She said the centre was opened in view of frequent appeals by relatives of the victims of religious cults to various bodies and the media.
The centre is going to provide moral and psychological support to the victims of nontraditional religions, to circulate reliable information about teachings of the existing religious sects and also to carry out scientific, research, advisory as well as publishing activities, Denisenko said.
Staff of the centre intend to cooperate with the Russian association of centres for studying religions and sects, as well as other similar centres in Russia.
Denisenko said that for the time being the centre would be funded by local entrepreneurs, but its organizers "hope for support from the state, which the local authorities promise to provide in future".