BISHOP KONSTANTIN BENDAS: IDENTIFICATION MARK ON LITERATURE FOR EVANGELISM
Alive Faith Media, 24 July 2016
The deputy ruling bishop and chancellor of the ROSKhVE and member of the Expert Council of the Russian State Duma Committee on Affairs of Public Associations and Religious Organizations, Bishop Konstantin Bendas, continues explanation of the amendments regarding missionary activity.
Article 17, point 3, of the federal law "On freedom of conscience and religious associations," in the old version says: "Literature and other printed, audio, and video materials produced by religious organizations must have an identification mark [markirovka, Ru.] with the full name of the religious organization."
I note that the name must be full, without any abbreviations, just as it is written in your registration or on the title page of the charter.
For example, the Local Religious Organization of Christians of Evangelical Faith (Pentecostals) "Living Life" of the City of Kalosha.
In the new version of this article the phrase has been added: "produced and distributed in the course of conducting missionary activity."
That is, if we ourselves had not prepared such a book, booklet, brochure, pamphlet, CD-disk or something else, and we distributed it for the purposes of attracting other people into the activity of a religious organization, then we are required to affix a complete denomination [i.e., identification] of our religious organization.
This does not pertain to what is done within the house of worship or church building in the course of a worship service, because this pertains to missionary activity, that is, to public activity of religious organizations.
This is extremely important. It seems like a pittance but because of it, a religious organization, first, could be fined a serious sum, from 100,000 to 1 million rubles, and several violations could lead to liquidation of the religious organization.
In writing to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul says: "I try to act so as not to give occasion to those seeking occasion." Let's heed these words. Let's pray and devote all efforts so that the Gospel of the Lord will be proclaimed from our lips and also through all books and booklets that we distribute. (tr. by PDS, posted 13 August 2016)
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