African expat nabbed by new anti-evangelism law


SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 29 August 2016


In Tver, a court fined the leader of a group of Pentecostals, a citizen of Ghana, for illegal evangelism.


On 1 August 2016, the Moscow district court of the city of Tver found E. Tua, a citizen of the republic of Ghana, guilty on the basis of part 5 of article 5.26 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law of the RF (conduct by a foreign citizen of missionary activity with violation of the requirements of legislation on freedom of conscience, freedom of religious confession and on religious associations).


E. [Ebenezera] Tua is the leader of a group of Christians of Evangelical Faith (Pentecostals), "Christ's Embassy." The violation of law that he is accused of is that he "conducted religious rituals and ceremonies, including religious meetings; posted information about his beliefs on the Internet for the purpose of its promotion; and conducted missionary activity on the territory of the city of Tver, while not have the necessary documents and conditions" provided for by the law "On freedom of conscience and religious associations."


In addition, the fact that the citizen of Ghana is in Russia on a student visa, while he engaged in evangelistic, teaching, and entrepreneurial activity, which said kind of visa does not provide for, was considered to be a violation.


E. Tua admitted that he is the leader of a religious group. However he explained that the group does not have organizational documents and therefore it is impossible to issue documents authorizing members of the group to conduct missionary activity. Any member of the group may explain to willing persons the essence of their teaching. In addition, nobody from the group was engaged in attracting new members.


Nevertheless the court considered the Pentecostal guilty and ordered to fine him 50,000 rubles. The court's ruling has still not taken effect. (tr. by PDS, posted 30 August 2016)

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