Security official wants anti-protestant action


SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 28 June 2016


In Tiumen province, a representative of the FSB declared that the activity of protestant organizations threatens the security of Russia and facilitates the "intensification of religious contradictions."


On 2 June 2016 a meeting of the Interagency Commission for Combating Extremist Activity of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug-Yugra [Khanty-Mansiiskii Avtonomous Okrug—KhMAO] was held. Participating in it, in particular, was the deputy chief of the regional directorate of the Russian RSB for Tiumen province, Maksim Baranov. In his address he expressed concern with regard to activity of protestant organizations on the territory of the region. . . . (tr. by PDS, posted 28 June 2016)



by Maksim Yurievich Baranov, Deputy chief of the regional directorate of Russian FSB for Tiumen province


Combating religious extremism is among the priority goals of the service operational activity of the Russian Directorate of the Federal Security Service for the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug in Tiumen province. An analysis of information coming in attests that despite measures being taken, circumstances in the line of combating religious extremism have a tendency to become complicated.


According to statistics of the Administration of the Federal Registration Service of the Russian Ministry of Justice for KhMAO-Yugra, on the territory of the okrug there are about 130 registered religious associations. The principal religious confessions are Orthodoxy and Islam. The leading position of Orthodoxy is based on the number of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow patriarchate and its special position that has developed in Russia, including on the territory of KhMAO. With respect to other confessions, the dioceses of the RPTsMP recognize only Islam as traditional for Russia and the region, and they observe open opposition to protestant organizations in KhMAO.


At the present time, there are in KhMAO representations of these protestant organizations: the Voice of Faith Church of Christians of the Whole Gospel, the church of Evangelical Christians-Baptists, the church of Christians of Evangelical Faith, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Voice of Truth Church, churches of Christian Seventh-Day Adventists, and the Whole Gospel Church of Jesus Christ the Living God. According to estimates of specialists, the total number of protestants on the territory of KhMAO is on the order of 3,500.


Information: in 2015 incidents of destructive missionary activity by protestant religious organizations among minor indigenous peoples of the north were discovered. The measures that were adopted permitted bringing a believer (a citizen of Finland) to administrative accountability and deporting him outside of the RF, with entry denied for 5 years.


A Yugorsk district court held the director of the local branch of the Jehovah's Witnesses religious organization of the city of Yugorsk administratively accountable on the basis of article 20.29 of the Code on Administrative Violations of Law of the RF. In order to prevent continuation of extremist activity, the Yugorsk district prosecutor's office issued a warning to the director.


In addition to religious organizations of a protestant orientation, attempts have been made to spread the ideas of the Church of Scientology on the territory of KhMAO (city of Surgut and Surgut district). Thus, the Moscow Church of Scientology instructed the group of Scientologists in Surgut to increase preaching activity among the population of the region (one of these attempts was shut off in January 2011 by means of the confiscation of 10,000 leaflets), and to devote special attention to agitation work in the schools, public organizations, and hospitals.


In addition, protestants have conducted social work in a number of rehabilitation centers for work with drug addicts. Protestants use the indicated measures as a means of evangelizing the population. Representatives of churches of Evangelical Christians-Baptists actively support Pentecostals in their evangelism.


According to estimates of specialists, the ideology of religious organizations that are confessions that are not traditional for Russia leads to an intensification of religious contradictions and, on the whole, facilitates the development of threats to the security of the Russian federation in the socio-political sphere. At the same time, because of the low level of missionary activity by the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow patriarchate and other traditional religions among the population, an increase in representatives of foreign religious groups is predicted, including the goal of increasing the number of devotees.


In view of the foregoing, we suggest that it is appropriate to take the following measures:

--The Russian MVD for KhMAO-Yugra, in cooperation with the prosecutor's office of KhMAO-Yugra and the Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the RF for KhMAO-Yugra, should conduct a verification of the legality of the activity of religious organizations that are registered on the territory of the okrug, compliance with charter activity, and also the existence of forbidden literature;

--the KhMAO-Yugra Department of Education and Youth Policy should conduct a verification in educational institutions of the okrug to find the occurrence of incidents of drawing minor citizens into the activity of protestant religious organizations. (tr. by PDS, posted 28 June 2016)


Russian original posted on website of Department for Domestic Policy of KhMAO

  28 June 2016

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