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(Forum 18) – Seventh Day Adventists have confirmed that, on Monday 1 June, they were given state registration, the first religious group to be registered under the new state registration rules, and Bahai’s are likely to be confirmed later today (3 June) as the next group to be registered. Other religious groups have expressed cautious optimism that they too may be registered, however, the state registration changes this do not affect groups which refuse registration on principle, such as the “initiativniki” Baptists. Unregistered religious activity remains, against international law, a criminal offence, and it remains unclear how far newly-registered religious groups will be permitted to operate without being persecuted, or without the imposition of the heavy state control imposed on Sunni Muslims and the Russian Orthodox Church, the only groups to be state registered before 1 June.