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In their own quiet way, Russia’s Protestant denominations are continuing to evangelise.
Called in Russian the “Youth Business Prayer Breakfast”, its primary supporters are Russian businessmen and politicians.
Around 300 representatives participated in the annual Baptist World Alliance gathering in Thailand. The Venezuela humanitarian crisis and the needs of refugees were also highlighted.
“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.
Around 130 delegates from different parts of the country reflected on the role of Christians. A manual for counselling the victims of violence has been published.
People in France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Sweden are more interested in “spirituality” than in “religion”. A global survey shows that China and Indonesia have a great interest in religion.
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.
Russian authorities speak of 49 injured after blast near central metro station. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described it as a “terrorist attack.”
“This kind of precedent is highly frightening and raises the question of who’s next”, says Evangelical-Baptist leader Vitaly Vlasenko.
A coalition government will be needed in a country where citizens tend to trust EU politicians more than their own.
Gavin Matthews on Arkady Ostrovsky’s The Invention of Russia.
Dozens have died in Poland, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Russia. The European Commission warns about the situation of many refugees.
“Pilot error or a technical fault, but not terrorism, were likely to have caused the crash”, Russia’s transport minister said. 92 have died.
One in three citizens think corruption is one of the biggest problems facing their country. Ukraine, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Spain are the worst judged.
Prime Minister Borisov resigned on Monday after the victory of pro-Russian Roumen Radev. Many have left the country in the last years due to the financial crisis.
“Russian evangelical Christians have a call to be model citizens but now they are at risk of being considered lawbreakers for their loyalty to Jesus Christ”, the Spanish Evangelical Alliance says.
The Southern Ocean will be sheltered from fishing in the next 35 years. The agreement comes after five years of negotiations. Russia was the last one to accept it.
More than 20 countries were represented at the European Evangelical Alliance General Assembly 2016. The “identity of Europe” and the Christian response to several challenges was discussed in Colares (Portugal).
It appears once again as if the Russian state will be moving simultaneously in opposite directions. Restrictive measures are combined with financial support for Protestant and multi-confessional projects.
Election in Crimea is questioned by many states. Only 47% of population voted. Evangelical Christians suffer under anti-evangelism law.
A team of Russian archaeologists announces “a discovery of international significance” in the ancient Greek site of Phanagoria (Crimea). Darius I is mentioned in the book of Ezra.
Another concern is the governmental regulation of religious groups to stifle the freedom to worship. The report also takes aim at the genocide against Christians carried out by Daesh and Boko Haram.
The law that makes evangelism illegal has come into force in Russia, on Wednesday 20th July. The situation is still better than in the URSS days, says evangelist Alex Jaruchik.
“Russian Evangelicals are not problematic and radicalised citizens and they should not be treated that way”, says Thomas Bucher, the General Secretary of the European Evangelical Alliance.