Russia’s new anti-terror legislation infringes on Christian ministries

Church-in-Russia

By Laban66 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10403927

The Vladimir Putin-led Russian government recently passed sweeping anti-terror legislation that reduces all citizen’s rights to privacy while potentially infringing on the right of Christians to engage in missions.

“It could stop missionary activity to anybody but representatives, registered organizations and groups,” said Joel Griffith of the Slavic Gospel Association as reported by Mission Network News. “It would require every missionary to have documents with specific information proving connections to a registered religious group.”

If stringently enforced, churches could face restrictions related to ministry in residential areas. Foreign missionaries, in particular, could face new barriers. The bill bans proselytizing, preaching and praying except in state-sanctioned churches.

An estimated 90 percent of Russia’s evangelical churches are not registered with the government, a holdover from the days of communism when the state widely persecuted evangelicals.

Pray for the safety of Russian evangelicals as they try to live out the gospel in their communities.

The Washington Post: Putin signs new anti-terror law in Russia

UPI: Russia passes new anti-terrorism laws; up to 7 years in jail for voicing support for terrorism

VB: Russian leader Putin signs controversial ‘Big Brother’ law

MNN: Big Brother Bill passes in Russia