In the first half of this year of 2020 alone, more than 40 people were prosecuted for doing “missionary activity” in Russia, the British Christian Today (CT), a Christian media company, reported on October 1st.
According to the Norwegian religious freedom human rights organization Forum 18, 40 individuals and 2 organizations were prosecuted by the Russian government for missionary activity, of which 36 were convicted or fined.
Some were convicted as early as July 2016 according to Article 5, Clause 26 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation, which made “illegal missionary activities” a crime.
In addition, the court ordered two people indicted as foreign missionaries to be deported. They were transferred to immigration detention centers prior to their deportation, and one of them, a Tajik Christian, who was convicted in February 2020, is believed to be still in custody.
Forum 18 analyzed that the reason why the number of cases reported to the courts decreased between January and June was due to social and communication restrictions caused by the coronavirus.
In the case of convictions disclosed by this group, one Baptist pastor in Krasnodar in southern Russia was fined for conducting “unspecified missionary activities” without notifying Russia’s Ministry of Justice.
A leader of Saint Pius X, a Catholic religious group in the Republic of Tatarstan, a minority region in Russia, has been prosecuted for holding a Latin Mass in a hotel conference room with a foreign preacher who was not authorized to serve in missionary work by Russian authorities.
Meanwhile, in Chelyabinsk in western Russia, a Protestant pastor was fined for holding Sunday services in a residential building.
Source: Christian Daily
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
(1 Timothy 6:12, NKJV)
Lord, it has been reported that in the first half of this year of 2020 alone, there have been over 40 prosecutions for doing missionary activity with people in Russia.
Not only was it in the southern and western regions of Russia, but also in Tatarstan, Christian leaders have been fined for worshiping God. Russia convicts these people and are calling all unauthorized missionary activity illegal in this land.
In times like these, when God is leading the world towards the end, people will try to abolish worship for the Lord, and the world will try to define worship as sin. But, we believe that the Lord’s church will surely win through worship and prayer for God!
May all the churches in Tatarstan and Russia hope in eternal life as they fight the good fight of faith! Please Lord, let us walk that path joyfully, following Jesus, who suffered by dying on the cross for us. Help us to not fear suffering nor persecution but to win eternal life through fighting the good fight!
We believe You have called the churches of Russia and Tatarstan to testify of the Lord and be shining lights in this dark world. May all Christians in Russia rise up powerfully, operating on stronger and holier faith, as witnesses of Christ to many people in these difficult times!
Therefore, Lord, we believe that You will lead all the churches in Russia and Tatarstan to victory through the good fight of faith. Let every church in Russia and Tatarstan rise up as an army of the Holy Lord! They will not kneel before the world’s governments and powers but will be brave in Christ until Christ receives the ultimate victory of this war! Amen!