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The two young US citizens were detained while teaching English at a local LDS meetinghouse. Last month, a Jehovah’s Witness was sentenced to six years.
The body representing 23 million evangelical Christians reacts to the imprisonment of a Danish Jehovah Witness.
Meanwhile, a Baptist theological seminary has been temporarily closed by a Moscow court.
There are 4,238 evangelical places of worship in the country. Evangelical Christians are the religious minority with the greatest presence in the country.
There have been repeated raids on churches by the Luhansk People's Republic. Authorities announced the ban of the “destructive activity of the extremist Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Churches”.
The European Court of Justice sides with Finnish data protection authorities. Preachers will have to inform about the personal data collected during their campaigns.
Eighty-seven new places of worship have been opened in the last six months of 2017. There are now 4,045 evangelical premises throughout the country.
In their own quiet way, Russia’s Protestant denominations are continuing to evangelise.
There are almost 4,000 evangelical worship places in the country, according to new figures. Muslims rank second, with more than 1,500.
“Except for a few Orthodox extremists, I do not hear a single voice expressing approval for the prohibition of the Jehovah’s Witnesses”, says Russian church historian Constantine Prokhorov.
The criminalization of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia is a mistake, says the Italian Evangelical Alliance. Freedom of worship should be guaranteed for everyone, “even for those who, in our view, are completely wrong.”
The government will close down the central offices of the religious organisation. The pressure on non-Russian Orthodox groups makes evangelical Christians wonder who will be targeted next.
“This kind of precedent is highly frightening and raises the question of who’s next”, says Evangelical-Baptist leader Vitaly Vlasenko.
The commission described the church as an insular sect with rules designed to stem the reporting of sexual abuse.