Protestant congregation hounded by security agency


Kavkaz.Realii, 10 November 2021


A magistrate court in Kabardino-Balkaria ruled that a local religious organization of the Church of Seventh-Day Adventist Christians is guilty of illegal missionary activity, sentencing it to a fine of 30,000 rubles. The pastor of the church, Timofei Boronin, speaks of clear inconsistencies in materials of the case and he intends to challenge the ruling assigning administrative accountability.


"According to the court's account, unidentified persons allegedly distributed religious literature without identification markings next door to our house of worship. Just who these persons were is unknown. The reference is to a generally Christian book about physical and emotional health. Such literature, indeed, was purchased by Seventh-Day Adventist Christians, but in recent years it has not been used," Pastor Timofei Boronin told Kavkaz.Realii.


According to a source, one witness in the administrative case described a distributor of the literature, but this description does not fit anyone of the parishioners of the congregation, and a second indicated that the books were distributed on Tuesday or Wednesday, although Seventh-Day Adventist Christians assemble for worship only on Saturdays.


"The witnesses did not hide the fact that Sergei Alexandrovich Svetnikov, an agent of the department of the F.S.B. for Kabardino-Balkaria, had a conversation with them. This was not the first time that he has tried to bring us to accountability. From just which archives and safes they got these old books is hard for me to say," the pastor added.


The congregation intends to challenge the ruling in the Prokhladnyi district court of Kabardino-Balkaria; the statement of a claim was filed in the court on 8 November.


No comment on the situation was made in the department of F.S.B. for Kabardino-Balkaria. (tr. by PDS, posted 12 November 2021)

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