Passed legislation by the Russian Federation, Yarovaya-Ozerov Law, will increase restrictions on missionary activity. On June 24, 2016, the Russian State Federal Assembly (Duma) discussed a new bill to amend the religion law relating to the missionary activities of believers and religious organizations. According to the amendment, the activities of missionaries in the Russian Federation will be substantially restricted.
For instance, religious organizations that invite foreign citizens to lead worship services or to preach are obliged to enter into a labor or civil contract. This places significant limitations on invitations to visitors from other countries by requiring that they obtain a visa that gives them the right to work. Even a friend or relative who lives abroad and wants to share their faith and beliefs as a guest in a private home, will now face a fine and administrative deportation from Russia.
There are many other troubling restrictions and limitations to religious organizations in the amendment to the religion law, in particular for Christian Protestant Churches and missionary organizations. This bill will take effect on July 20th.
Father God, we ask You to still provide ways for sharing the gospel, even despite this recent legislation that seeks to hinder evangelism. As we have seen so often in Scripture, what the Enemy intends for evil, You can use for Your purposes, and so we pray for You to bring many to glory despite this setback. We pray that the faith of those living in Russia would grow when they see You provide opportunities for them even amongst this new amendment. We pray that believers would find creative and secret ways to meet, and we ask for discernment and wisdom within those meetings. We pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.