Be informed. Be challenged. Be inspired.

Foreign Christian students targeted by Russia’s security services

Russia Bible

World Watch Monitor Foreign students of Pentecostal churches in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod region have become a particular target for the authorities under the so-called “anti-missionary” law introduced two years ago, Forum 18 reports. The vague definition of “missionary activity” in the law, officially titled the Yarovaya Law after one of its authors, has meant that law enforcement authorities could understand “virtually […]

New ruling in Russia could reduce prosecutions under “anti-missionary” law

World Watch Monitor Lawyers working for Christian and other minority religious organisations in Russia have welcomed a Constitutional Court ruling over the country’s so-called “anti-missionary law”, reports regional news agency Forum 18. The March ruling helps to partially clarify what is missionary activity. It stated that “giving information about religious events would constitute an ‘offence’ only if it […]

US agency accuses Russia of abusing anti-extremism laws

World Watch Monitor Russia’s anti-extremism laws are being used to crack down on peaceful religious minorities such as Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Hare Krishnas, the top US religious-freedom watchdog says. A report commissioned by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom found that “vague and problematic definitions of ‘extremism’ in Russian law give the authorities […]

European Court questions Russia over deportations under religion law

World Watch Monitor The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has asked for clarification over how Russia applies its  religion law to foreign citizens, reports news agency Interfax. The case that triggered their interest was that of an Evangelical Christian of Indian descent, who was one of the first people to be deported under the law, […]

Russia closes Baptist church despite recent praise of Protestants

A Baptist church has been closed down in Russia only weeks after a senior official praised the contribution Protestants had made to the country’s culture during a speech marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The owners of the church in Tula, central Russia, were charged with “improper use of the building”, according to Asia News, […]

US missionary appeals to European Court of Human Rights over Russian law

World Watch Monitor US Baptist preacher Donald Ossewaarde has filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that his right to religious freedom has been violated. Mr Ossewaarde had held weekly Bible meetings at his home in the Russian city of Oryol, 300 kilometres south of Moscow, for many years before being […]