Adventist Church Ready to Assist Members After Russia Limits Evangelism

Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders in Russia expressed hope that a restrictive law that came into force this week would not be used against the evangelistic work of Adventists but said they were ready to assist church members accused of violating it.

The law — part of a package of anti-terrorism legislation — outlines severe restrictions on evangelistic activity in Russia that, among other things, limit religious activity to registered church buildings and prohibit the free distribution of religious literature. Individuals who disobey face fines of up to 50,000 rubles (U.S.$765), while organizations could be fined up to 1 million rubles ($15,250).

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church and other Christian denominations in Russia oppose extremism and terrorism,” the Adventist Church’s Euro-Asia Division said in an e-mailed statement. “It goes without saying that it is important and necessary for governments to adopt measures to combat extremism and terrorism. We hope that the application of this law will apply exclusively to terrorist and extremist organizations and those who share their beliefs.”

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