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The president got 75% of the votes, his biggest electoral victory. The future of religious freedom for the evangelical minorities is very much dependent on the course of East-West relations.
Polls say the President will win again with at least 70% of the vote. Evangelicals hope the state’s efforts to stengthen national unity will not further restrict the freedoms of faith minorities.
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.
“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 Russian Orthodox Church works tirelessly to bring unity and to educate the younger generation in the spirit of patriotism”, Putin said.