Russia acts against evangelical movement with international ties


Novaya Gazeta, 3 December 2021


In Ramenskoe near Moscow police arrived at a conference of pastors of "New Generation"* protestant churches and arrested up to 200 persons. This was reported by Pastor Albert Ratkin in a video on YouTube.


The conference began on 1 December. It involved registered and unregistered religious organizations. According to Ratkin it assembled around 200 persons.


He described how in the evening of 2 December, OMON troops with automatic weapons stormed the conference and arrested all of the participants.


"They laid them face down, like criminals. They beat some. . . They lay on the cold floor for 40 minutes," Ratkin quoted one of the detainees. He said the security forces collected personal data from the detainees and fingerprinted them. They also demanded that they acknowledge that "election of new leadership was conducted" at the conference.


The pastor reported that the believers "were trying to call Latvia and Ukraine."


In August, the office of prosecutor general declared that four religious organizations, which are linked with those countries, were "undesirable in Russia." They included the New Generation International Christian Movement, the New Generation Evangelical Christian Church, the Spiritual Board of Evangelical Christians of the New Generation Ukrainian Christian Church, and the Religious Academic Institution of the New Generation International Bible College.


The reason for declaring them to be undesirable was the conduct of activity that "represents a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and to the security of the Russian Federation."


After midnight Ratkin reported that the detainees began being released. Indictments were composed for them, but it is not known what article they were based on.


*The "New Generation" church organizations are registered in Latvia and Ukraine, but have been declared undesirable in the R.F. (tr. by PDS, posted 3 December 2021)



REN.TV, 3 December 2021


According to information of REN.TV, around 70 persons who have proclaimed themselves pastors gathered in a rented building of the "Christian Center in Ramenskoe" in order to conduct a conference. According to some reports, the events continued from 30 November to 2 December and they were timed to correspond to the 32nd anniversary of the creation of the so-called church.


According to information from public sources, the organization was formed in 1989 in Riga. Its founder and director, Aleksei Lediaev, was refused entry into Russia. At the same time, Lediaev traveled to the U.S.A. on a regular basis for meeting with the leadership of American rights advocates and protestant organizations and he was frequently invited to official events of the American authorities.


On 23 August of this year, the activity of the organization was declared to be undesirable in Russia. The decision was made in the office of the prosecutor general with the explanation that the work of the "New Generation" poses a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order. (tr. by PDS, posted 3 December 2021)

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