A new bill in Russia could ban foreigners and religious leaders who have studied abroad to participate in or guide Russian religious associations’ activities.
According to Evangelical Focus, a European Christian newsletter, the Russian government presented the bill to the State Duma, the Russian Parliament, on July 22nd, 2020.
Article 7 of the federal law “on freedom of conscience and religious associations” states that “only Russians and other people who live permanently and legitimately in the territory of Russia can be active in religious groups.” According to the law, “a religious group is a union of people who profess the same faith and do not require state registration.”
Article 7 also dictates that leaders and participants of those religious groups have the right to celebrate worship services, aggregate, and educate new members in their faith, but prayer meetings cannot take place in private homes; they must be held in specially authorized premises.
For some years now, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, and other groups have been included in this list.
The bill includes an explanatory note, explaining that the changes to the law “will make it impossible for priests or religious personnel who have received religious education abroad to spread extremist religious ideologies.”
This ban will affect Protestant pastors, Muslim preachers, and Roman Catholic priests, among whom there are still many foreign missionaries who are struggling to obtain permanent residence permits.
Source: Evangelical Focus Europe
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.
The Russian government announced a bill that will make it impossible for foreigners to spread religious ideologies.
Russia’s religious repression increases as it bans certain religious meetings from taking place in private homes, dictating that the meetings must be held in specially authorized premises.
Lord, You are worthy to be glorified by all Russians, and we pray that Your name is lifted higher above the heavens, and Your glory is lifter over the whole world.
It seems that spreading the good news in Russia is becoming increasingly difficult due to the oppression. However, as the darkness thickens, the light of life will shine even more brightly. All idols lifted high in Russia will kneel before the Lord, and only the name of Jesus Christ will be lifted high!
Lord, please open new ways to serve for the foreign missionaries who are struggling to obtain permanent residence permits in this land, and bless them to serve the people and become a grain of wheat, laying down their lives for Russia’s salvation! May salvation come to Russia, not by way of man but by God’s wisdom! Amen!