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RUSSIA: Freedom of religion or belief Special bimonthly FORB digest (01-15.10.2021)

13.10.2021 – Searches at homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses were again carried out in the Khabarovsk territory. At least two believers were detained

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/10/131059.html

On the evening of October 11, 2021, searches were carried out in the homes of local believers in Nikolaevsk-on-Amur, including a 78-year-old woman. Two men were detained for 48 hours. Details are being specified.

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12.10.2021 – Oleg Danilov, imprisoned for his faith, unjustly sent to a punishment cell

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/10/121612.html

On 10 October, 2021 it became known that Oleg Danilov, serving his sentence for his Christian beliefs in the Akhtar colony, was unreasonably placed in a punishment cell. His detention in the penal cell was later extended by 15 days without any explanation.

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11.10.2021 – Pope Francis encourages Catholics in Russia to witness to the Gospel

As the Soviet Union was disintegrating 30 years ago, St. John Paul II appointed apostolic administrators for the pastoral care of Latin Rite Catholics in Moscow and Siberia.

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08.10.2021 – Tatarstan banned participation of minors in religious life without parental consent

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239214/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

In addition, TASS reports (https://tass.ru/obschestvo/12606091), it is forbidden to lead a religious group to foreign citizens in respect of whom a decision has been made that their stay on the territory of the Russian Federation is undesirable. A person convicted of extremism cannot become a leader either. Other restrictions have been introduced in line with the amendments to the federal law.

08.10.2021 – Community of Christians of Evangelical faith in Yalta fined for “illegal” missionary work

Link to full text (only in Russian): https://credo.press/239213/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

The reason for the initiation of the case was that the legal address of the religious organization is at the same time the address of residence of one of the community members, who did not know about the need to post visual information about the presence of a religious organization at this address. A community representative pleaded guilty.

08.10.2021 – A play about a Muslim woman Kisyakbik Bayryasova, who was burned for refusing to convert to Orthodoxy, canceled in Bashkortostan

Link to full text in Russian: https://credo.press/239216/

The premiere of the performance took place on September 25 at the M. Karim National Youth Theater in Ufa. However, they decided not to show it to Sterlitamak viewers. The management of the theater explained this for technical reasons, but the actors published a video filmed the day before the cancellation of the performance. On it, the theater staff communicates with the historian Ramil Rakhimov, who emphasizes that he came to the meeting at the request of the Minister of Culture of the Republic, Amina Shafikova. Rakhimov explains to the actors from the stage that history today is “a very painful thing.”

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07.10.2021 – After searches in Irkutsk, six Jehovah’s Witnesses were placed in a pre-trial detention center, another under house arrest

Link to full text in Russian: https://credo.press/239195/

The issue of choosing a preventive measure for the detained believers was decided in the Irkutsk court on October 5 and 6. On the first day, about 300 people gathered outside the courthouse, wishing to support their fellow believers. After a while, they were approached by believing women living nearby, who learned that there were believers in court. They brought hot tea with them to support the “prisoners of conscience.”

The mass resettlement of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Irkutsk Region took place in 1951 as part of Stalin’s Operation North. As you know, in April 2017, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation declared extremist and liquidated all 396 religious organizations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.

07.10.2021 – The ECB Church from the Kabardian city of Nartkaly was brought to trial for “illegal missionary work”

Link to full text (only in Russian) : https://credo.press/239199/

(Use https://www.deepl.com/translator for automatic translation)

Kabardino-Balkaria is the leader in the North Caucasus in terms of the number of cases against representatives of Protestant confessions on being prosecuted under a “missionary article.” According to the open data of SAS “Justice”, since the beginning of 2021, at least seven such protocols have been received by the courts of the Republic.

07.10.2021 – More Baptists from Caucasus violate anti-evangelism law

Link to full text (only in Russian) : https://cutt.ly/bRodMrL

The Urvan district court of Kabardino-Balkaria will consider an administrative case against a church of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of the city of Nartkala.

An affidavit regarding the local religious organization has been composed on the basis of part 3 of article 5.26 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law (“Conducting the activity of a religious organization without indicating its full official name”); it provides for a fine of from 30 to 50 thousand rubles.

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05.10.2021 – Baptist pastor in Kabardino-Balkaria fined for “illegal” missionary work

Link to full text in Russian:credo.press/239162/

As reported by the IAC “Sova” (recognized by the authorities of the Russian Federation as a foreign agent, but will appeal this status), on October 3 it became known that the magistrate court in the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria fined Igor Sashnikov, pastor of the local religious organization of Evangelical Christians-Baptists “Good News” under Art. 5.26 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation (violation of legislation on freedom of conscience, freedom of religion and on religious associations).

The pastor appealed to the Nalchik City Court to appeal this decision.

05.10.2021 – Appeal in Rostov-on-Don upheld the sentence against 60-year-old believer Olga Ganusha

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/10/011414.html

On September 30, 2021, the panel of judges of the Rostov Regional Court rejected the appeal of Olga Ganusha from Rostov-on-Don on the conviction for her choice of religion. The believer still insists on her innocence. She has the right to appeal against the sentence that has entered into force in cassation procedure, as well as in international instances.

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04.10.21 – FSB detained in Moscow and Moscow region a group of supporters of the idea of ​​an Islamic caliphate

Link to full text in Russian: https://credo.press/239145/

The FSB reported on October 4 about the detention in Moscow and the Moscow region of two leaders and six members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami organization banned in the Russian Federation.

“The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, in cooperation with units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Federal Service of the National Guard of the Russian Federation in the city of Moscow and the Moscow Region, suppressed the activities of a cell of the international terrorist organization” Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami “(banned in Russia by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation in 2003), two leaders and six of its active participants were detained, “the FSB’s Public Relations Center (DSP) reports.

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03.10.21 – Russian religion law amended

Link to full text in Russian: https://cutt.ly/HRogz3A

Changes in the Russian federal law “On freedom of conscience and religious associations,” forbidding individual persons to be a leader or member of a religious group, take legal effect as of 3 October.

This involves the federal law “On introducing changes in the federal law ‘On freedom of conscience and religious associations,'” which was adopted in the spring and signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in April of this year.

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03.10.21 – Anti-evangelism law still being used against protestants

Link to full text in Russian: https://cutt.ly/IRogV1C

A Nalchik city court will consider the administrative case of violation by missionary activity that was opened against Igor Sashnikov. He is the pastor of the local “Good News” religious organization of Evangelical Christians-Baptists.

Initially an affidavit based on the article of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law “Conduct of activity by a religious organization without an indication of its full official name” was considered by a magistrate court, but that was disputed by the defendant being charged with administrative accountability in the higher Nalchik city court. It will be considered by federal Judge Tempiuko Bgazhnokov.

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01.10.2021 – Russia blackballs Scientologists

Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=77878

The Russian Ministry of Justice entered into the register of undesirables the American Scientology organizations “L. Ron Hubbard Library” and “WISE [World Institute of Scientology Enterprises],” whose activity had earlier been recognized by the office of the prosecutor general as threatening the security of the Russian Federation.

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