Anti-evangelism law still being used against protestants


Kavkaz.Realii, 3 October 2021


A Nalchik city court will consider the administrative case of violation by missionary activity that was opened against Igor Sashnikov. He is the pastor of the local "Good News" religious organization of Evangelical Christians-Baptists.


Initially an affidavit based on the article of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law "Conduct of activity by a religious organization without an indication of its full official name" was considered by a magistrate court, but that was disputed by the defendant being charged with administrative accountability in the higher Nalchik city court. It will be considered by federal Judge Tempiuko Bgazhnokov.


The penalty in the article provides for a fine of from 30 to 50 thousand rubles for a natural person.


"The materials of the case were transferred to a higher court for appeal. For now I cannot provide any further commentaries," Pastor Igor Sashnikov himself noted.


Kabardino-Balkaria is leading in the northern Caucasus in bringing representatives of protestant confessions to accountability on the "evangelism" article of the Code on Administrative Violations of Law. According to public information of the "Justice" State Automated System, since the start of 2021, at least seven affidavits have been filed with courts of the republic. Their defendants have been pastors of churches of Evangelical Christians-Baptists and of Seventh-Day Adventists in Maiskii and Prokhladny.


*Since the summer of 2016, missionary activity in Russia has been governed by the law of the "Yarovaya Package." It forbids preaching in residences and also missionary activity "aimed at disrupting public safety or encouraging extremism and dissolution of the family."


*On 14 July, an administrative case was brought in Maiskii district court of Kabardino-Balkaria regarding illegal missionary activity initiated against the local church of Seventh-Day Adventist Christians. In the past two years, religious congregations have been inspected five times by agents of the F.S.B. and M.V.D. and they were held accountable for failing to have identification labels on religious literature. In early September, law enforcement agencies conducted a search in the home of Timofei Boronin, the pastor of Seventh-Day Adventist churches in Maiskii and Prokhladny districts of the republic; extremist religious literature was found in the clergyman's home.


*Four religious leaders from Adygei were subjects of administrative cases concerning illegal missionary activity. This involved pastors of several evangelical churches. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 October 2021)

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