Baptist preacher punished for allegedly violating anti-evangelism law


SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 23 April 2021


In April 2021, a minister of the church of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (EKhB) was fined for "illegal" evangelism in Obninsk. In January, unidentified persons arrived at a meeting being conducted by him in a private home; after that visit the home was visited by F.S.B. agents.


In April 2021 it became known that on 13 January several unidentified persons arrived at a private home in Obninsk of Kaluga oblast, where a worship service of a church of Evangelical Christians-Baptists was being held for study of Sacred Scripture. Soon after they left, a F.S.B. agent, Major V. Monin, accompanied by a person who was not introduced, arrived.


The arrivals composed an affidavit for the minister, Vitaly Glebov, based on part 4 of article 5.26 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law of the R.F. (Conduct of missionary activity in violation of requirements of legislation on freedom of conscience and freedom of religious confession and on religious associations).


In February, Glebov was summoned to the prosecutor's office, where he was told to sign an affidavit for the opening of a case of administrative violation of law, which had supposedly been composed in his presence, but the minister noted that it had been composed before his summons to the prosecutor's office. The basis for opening the case was a report from the department of the F.S.B. about the results of a search operation that had been conducted, complied on the basis of testimony of unidentified young people in attendance at the worship service, who accused Glebov of conducting missionary activity among persons who were not adherents of his religious association.


On 9 April, a magistrate judge of judicial district No. 15 of the Obninsk judicial district ruled the minister of the EKhB church to be guilty on the basis of the aforesaid article and assessed him a penalty in the form of a fine of 5,000 rubles.


Glebov intends to appeal this decision. (tr. by PDS, posted 25 April 2021)

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