Reports from Russia reveal that people are being arrested for evangelising following the passing of new anti-terrorism laws that actually ban evangelism outside of churches. A representative of the Ukrainian Reformed Orthodox Church, Sergei Zhuravlyov, was arrested while he was preaching before the St Petersburg Messianic Jewish Community and was charged with violating a provision of the new law.
Zhuravlyov has since been released on bail, law enforcement officers informed Interfax news agency that he was accused of "formenting negative attitudes toward the Russian Orthodox Church" and allegedly having ties to the Ukranian nationalist political party called Right Sector.
Hannu Haukka, president of the Great Commission Media Ministries said:
"This new situation resembles the Soviet Union in 1929. At that time confession of faith was permitted only in church." "Practically speaking, we are back in the same situation. These anti-terrorist laws are some of the most restrictive laws in post-Soviet history."
The law is also said to ban foreign missionaries from speaking at churches without permission from Russian authorities. According to the Slavic Centre for Law and Justice, a new manner of carrying out missionary work in Russia will need to be established.
There have been urgent calls for brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for the situation, churches, missionaries and Christians in the nation.
Posted by Amanda Hopkins