74 Russian Pastors Charged Under New Anti-Terrorism Law

A leadership conference of 1,000 pastors in Moscow in May 2014.  The pastors were deeply concerned about the worsening situation regarding religous freedom in Russia. Recently, 74 pastors were tried under the  law on "terrorism." In the photo: Laura and Hannu Haukka beside Bishops Vasily Yevtsik and Alexey Rudenki. A leadership conference of 1,000 pastors in Moscow in May 2014. The pastors were deeply concerned about the worsening situation regarding religous freedom in Russia. Recently, 74 pastors were tried under the law on "terrorism." In the photo: Laura and Hannu Haukka beside Bishops Vasily Yevtsik and Alexey Rudenki.


Story Highlights:

 

Russia’s ongoing crackdown on religious minorities, foreign missionaries, and evangelists has earned it a spot among the worst countries in the world for religious freedom.

“This reminds us of the Soviet Era,” says Vladimir Rjahovski, an attorney with the Council For Law And Justice in Moscow.

The Churches of Russia have pleaded with us to print more Evangelism books, New Testaments and Bibles asap. We believe we have a short window of opportunity.

Putins law girl with Bible

You can make your tax-deductible gift to Bibles for Russia at our online donation page.

Freedom of worship in Russia is sharply curtailed.

Freedom for Russian churches to engage in the Great Commission has diminished at an alarming rate. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which flags religious freedom violators for the State Department, listed Russia among six new countries of particular concern.”  It is the first time in the commission’s almost 20-year history that Russia has made the list.

Russia’s ongoing crackdown on religious minorities, foreign missionaries, and evangelists has earned it a spot among the worst countries in the world for religious freedom.

The USCIRF report dedicated seven pages to policies, from the “persecution of religious minorities in the occupied areas of Crimea and Donbas” to recent moves against non-Orthodox Christians in its heartland.

On July 2016 President Putin signed a highly controversial anti- terrorism law that signaled a new era of restrictions and steadily growing persecution of Evangelical churches. In the past year, worship services have been disrupted, pastors have been arrested and Church computers and hard disks have been confiscated.

Since When Were Pastors "Terrorists?"

“This reminds us of the Soviet Era,” says Vladimir Rjahovski, an attorney with the Council For Law And Justice in Moscow.  As of July 2016 seventy-four trials have been held under the new anti terrorism law.

All 74 trials targeted evangelical pastors.  Rjahovski says that the new law is intentionally used against churches in Russia. There has not been a single recorded case involving a terrorist act.

Protests in Moscow

Both Baptist and Pentecostal unions have reported to GCM Ministries that Russian Secret Service agents conducted sting operations in church services in the cities of Perm, Moscow, Syktyvkar, Kaluga, Arkhangelsk and Novokuznetsk, recording personal information from all in attendance.

During one worship service at a Pentecostal church in Moscow thirty Secret Service agents along with other government officials showed up.

They proceeded to seal all the exits, detained all those inside, recorded worshiper’s personal information and issued fines for attending the service.

You can make your tax-deductible gift to Bibles for Russia at our online donation page.

United in prayer for Russia, 

Hannu Haukka/President