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Russian Federation Facts

Score:60/ 100
Region:Asia
Persecution Type:Dictatorial paranoia
Persecution Level:High
Population:143,896,000
Christians:118,027,000
Main Religion:Chrisitianity
Government:Semi-presidential federation
Leader:President Vladimir Putin

Profile of Persecution

Violence 41%
Church Life 72%
National Life 62%
Community Life 64%
Family Life 50%
Private Life 73%

Christian groups face surveillance

In Muslim-dominated regions in Russia, Christians who have converted from Islam often bear the brunt of persecution at the hands of family, friends and community members. In some areas where conservative Islam is dominant, believers must keep their faith secret for fear of being executed. Throughout the country, unregistered churches active in evangelism may face obstructions in the form of surveillance and interrogation by the local authorities.

How Christians are suffering

Much of the pressure on Christians in Russia comes from the government imposing restrictive legislation. Since the implementation of the anti-terrorist Yarovaya laws, the level of surveillance of all non-Orthodox Christian churches has increased. As a result, Christian activity is often under state surveillance, and church services are sometimes raided by security forces. Christian converts in the radicalized Muslim regions of the Caucasus face immense pressure from family, friends and local community to renounce their faith. Out of fear, converts often do not even attempt to go to church meetings. Some have been forced to flee or find refuge in safe houses.

Recent examples of persecution

At least 14 Christians were arrested, including four Christians who worked in a rehabilitation center for drug addicts and were sentenced to five-to-eight years imprisonment.

Five missionaries in Chechnya were detained several times, harassed and later deported from Chechnya.

At least 10 churches were attacked and/or forcibly closed.

Population and number of Christian statistics: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2019).

 

Pray for Russian Federation

  • Pray for guidance for Russia’s Christians so they may understand and comply with domestic laws—where doing so doesn’t conflict with their faith—while carrying out their evangelistic activities.
  • Christian activity can be under state surveillance, and church services are sometimes raided by the security forces. Pray for the safety of church members when they are arrested and interrogated by the police.
  • The recent strain on relationship between Russia and the West has led to greater suspicion of Protestants who receive support from foreign organizations. Pray that such ties won’t hinder the process of new Protestant churches receiving their official registration with the government.

Stories from Russian Federation

March 6, 2020

A ‘living death’: How Christian women experience persecution

A new 2020 Open Doors in-depth report focusing on gendered persecution surfaces some disturbing realities for Christian women and girls in the top 50 countries where women are highly persecuted for their decision to follow Jesus. Read More

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January 15, 2020

Every day, 8 Christians killed for their decision to follow Jesus

In-depth research for Open Doors' 2020 World Watch List shows that at least eight Christians, largely in Sub-Saharan Africa, die at the hands of persecutors (extremists, family members and state authorities) each day. Read More

+ READ MORE

November 9, 2019

Fall of Berlin Wall should compel us to pray for ‘every North Korean’s hope’

As Germany celebrates 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of reunification, many North Koreans are wondering when that long-awaited day will come for Korea. Read More

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