Religious Oppression in Russia

Russia Moves to Liquidate Fifty-Six Religious Groups.

On October 15 the Russian Ministry of Justice took steps to begin liquidating 56 non-Russian Orthodox religious organizations.  The groups face dissolution, Russian news sources reported, because they failed to file required annual reports on their activities. Those targeted include a range of non-Russian Orthodox organizations and churches but hardest hit were various Christian groups, both Protestant and Catholic.  Baptist groups were prominent on the list, but Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Seventh-day Adventist and Pentecostal groups were also included. Well known humanitarian groups such as World Vision and Youth with a Mission were also named, as was the Russian branch of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.   Non-Christian organizations were also named, including Muslim and Buddhist associations.

According to the Slavic Legal Center in Moscow, many of the organizations believe they are in full compliance with filing requirements and are surprised to be included in the list.  They are unsure if the posting is a scare tactic or if the Ministry of Justice indeed intends to pursue liquidations on a massive scale.