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ANS (12/20/05) – Russia is currently experiencing a resurgence of religious repression similar to that of an earlier period in that country’s history.

“Our country, Russia , experiences a very difficult time now. In many respects it is very similar to the 1920-1930 period in Russian history,” writes Isabel Du Toit, Head of Prayer Ministry for the TBN and Association of Christian Churches ‘Union of Christians,’ in an e-mail obtained by ASSIST News Service (ANS).

“During that time Secret Services were trying to destroy churches in Russia . Their main tactics was to divide the Church trough its special agents inside the Church and to slander against the leaders of the Church,” DuToit says.

“Today we face a new wave of slander against Christian leaders in Russia . There are waves of gossip to discredit Russian main Christian leaders, i.e. Bishop Sergey Ryahovsky (head of the Russian Pentecostal Union), Bishop Paul Okara (head of the Russian Evangelical Church ) and Bishop Igor ‘Nikki’ Nikitin (head of the Association of Christian Churches ‘Union of Christians).

Du Toit says the U.S. Congress in its resolution # 190 “…urged the Russian Federation to ensure full protection of freedoms for all religious communities without distinction, where registered and unregistered, and end the harassment of unregistered religious groups by the security apparatus and other governmental agencies.”

DuToit asks concerned Christians in the United States to “please stand with us in prayer to end this tendency and prevent the repetition of these happenings.”

Please pray for the Russian Union of Churches and its leaders, Sergey Ryahovsky, Paul Okara and Igor ‘Nikki’ Nikitin; for protection for the Church in Russia from splits and destructions; for outpouring of the Holy Spirit over Russia .