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Russia Facts

Score:60/ 100
Region:Asia
Persecution Type:Islamic Oppression
Persecution Level:High
Population:143,965,000
Christians:118,127,000
Main Religion:
Government:Semi-Presidential Federation
Leader:President Vladimir Putin

Profile of Persecution

Violence 34%
Church Life 72%
National Life 62%
Community Life 64%
Family Life 50%
Private Life 75%

Regional persecution, state control

Christians in parts of Russia dominated by Islam report the highest level of Christian persecution. Often, Christians who have converted from Islam face pressure and discrimination from their families, communities and surrounding cultures. Additionally, an increase in state control has resulted in more tight controls for any Christian denomination seen as non-Russian, which means evangelical churches are often regarded with suspicion. The government continues to pass more restrictive legislation on religious freedom.

How Christians are suffering

Many ethnic Russians in Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia have left due to fighting, and churches have seen membership numbers drop. Russian Orthodox churches experience the fewest number of problems from the government., while unregistered churches active in evangelism may face obstructions in the form of surveillance and interrogation.

It is the indigenous Christians who converted from Islam and live in Muslim-majority regions that bear the brunt of persecution—from both family/friends and the local community. In some areas, these believers must keep their faith secret for fear of being executed.

Examples

On February 18, 2018, an Islamic militant attacked a Russian Orthodox group in Kizlyar, Dagestan. Five female Christians were killed while another five were injured. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, but the statement provided no evidence to support the claim.

On May 20, 2018, Islamic militants attacked the Russian Orthodox Archangel Michael Church in Grozny, Chechnya, killing one believer. The church’s priest, Father Sergiy, said churchgoers heard shots outside and chants of “Allahu Akbar” meaning “Allah is greatest.”

Law enforcement agencies are increasing pressure on Protestants in the Nizhny Novgorod region. Judges fined and ordered the deportation of two African Christians at Nizhny Novgorod’s medical academy for appearing in or reposting videos on a social media network. The two deported students were permitted to stay in the country to complete their final exams but were required to leave by June 30, 2018, according to Forum 18.

Pray for Russia

  • Pray for the unity of Christians in Russia, that they would break through denominational differences and work together for the Body of Christ.
  • Pray for Christians from a Muslim background living in parts of Russia that are mostly Muslim. Pray for protection and strength to persevere.
  • Pray for Christians active and worshiping in unregistered churches, and in churches where telling others about Jesus is encouraged. Pray they would be kept safe and they would be free of government interference as they worship God and preach the gospel.
  • Pray for the government of Russia, that they would seek the common good of all people and all faiths.

Stories from Russia

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