Russia bans some Pentecostal groups


by Ivan Egorov

Rossiiskaia Gazeta, 23 August 2021


The office of the prosecutor general recognized four religious organizations from Latvia and Ukraine to be undesirable on Russian territory. According to information from the oversight body, the activity of the Latvian "New Generation" International Christian Movement and the "New Generation" Evangelical Christian Church and of the Ukrainian Ecclesiastical Board of Evangelical Christians of the "New Generation" Ukrainian Christian Church and the religious educational institution "New Generation" International Bible College poses a threat to the foundations of the constitutional structure and security of Russia.


The issue refers to the same brand of "New Generation" evangelical Christians that has many more diverse divisions and names than those falling within the scope of the office of the prosecutor general. This charismatic Pentecostal movement was created in 1989 in Riga by Aleksei Lediaev. Since then, divisions of the "New Generation" have appeared in practically all republics of the former U.S.S.R. and also in countries of Europe, the United States, Canada, and countries of South America. In the Russian Orthodox Church, the movement, which split off from the Pentecostal Evangelicals, is categorized exclusively as a sect. According to information of the portal, Aleksei Lediaev, the founder and senior pastor of the "New Generation" sect, was born in 1959 in a Baptist family in Alma-Ata. Later, in the 1980s, he moved to Riga, where he joined a local church of Evangelical Christians-Baptists. Several years later he experienced the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" as it is understood for themselves by the Pentecostals.


After that, he joined the Pentecostal church, which he subsequently became the head of, after the emigration to Sweden of its pastor, Nikolai Shevchuk. Elements of charismatic worship began gradually seeping into the Pentecostal church, like hand clapping, dances, and loud prayers, which evoked the displeasure of conservative Pentecostal ministers. By a decision of the council of bishops, Aleksei Lediaev was stripped of his ministry and soon, in the autumn of 1989, he founded his own new church. As the office of prosecutor general recalled, recognition of the undesirability on Russian territory of the activity of a foreign or international nongovernmental organization (NGO) entails, among other things, a prohibition of its creation on the territory of the R.F. and termination of the activity of its previously created structural subdivisions.


Adherents of the "New Generation" who continue their activity in Russia are liable to administrative and criminal accountability. In the early to mid 1990s, the "New Generation" was popular even among popular representatives of young Russian stage performers who actively promoted the ideas of the movement and drew new devotees into its ranks. (tr. by PDS, posted 23 August 2021)



Kommersant, 23 August 2021


The office of the prosecutor general declared four organizations from Latvia and Ukraine that are connected with the "New Generation" movement to be undesirable. According to a report of the press service of the office, the organizations create a threat "to the foundations of the constitutional structure and to security."


The following were declared undesirable:

International "New Generation" Christian Movement (Latvia);

"New Generation" Evangelical Christian Church (Latvia);

Ecclesiastical Board of the "New Generation" Ukrainian Christian Church of Evangelical Christians (Ukraine);

"New Generation" International Bible College (a religious educational institution).


As of press time, the Ministry of Justice has not included the organizations in the list of undesirable organizations. Organizations in Russia that are connected with the "New Generation" have not previously been included in lists of forbidden or undesirable organizations.


The "New Generation" church of Pentecostals was founded by the preacher Aleksei Lediaev, who was living in Latvia. In 2002, Mr. Lediaev was deported from Russia when he arrived at the Sheremetevo-2 airport. He has been denied entry into Armenia, Belorussia, and Kazakhstan. Ukraine temporarily denied Aleksei Lediaev entry into its territory.


Among other international religious organizations that already are forbidden in Russia are the Jehovah's Witnesses (declared extremist and banned in the R.F.) and the Falun Gong (declared undesirable, and its division in Khakasia was declared extremist and banned). In 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the ban of the Jehovah's Witnesses is "complete nonsense," and that he does not understand "why they are persecuted" (quoted by B.B.C.). Mr. Putin said that it was necessary to deal with the situation, but since then the bans on Jehovists have not been lifted. (tr. by PDS, posted 23 August 2021)


Russia Religion News Current News Items

Editorial disclaimer: RRN does not intend to certify the accuracy of information presented in articles. RRN simply intends to certify the accuracy of the English translation of the contents of the articles as they appeared in news media of countries of the former USSR.

If material is quoted, please give credit to the publication from which it came. It is not necessary to credit this Web page. If material is transmitted electronically, please include reference to the URL,