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ICC NOTE: The anti-missionary law, otherwise known as the Yarovaya laws, are continuing to gain momentum as new individuals are charged under the law and heavily fined for their evangelistic activity. According to the president of Mission Eurasia in an interview with CBN, Russia is attempting to return the evangelical church behind the wall as it was during the Soviet Era. It is a frightening moment for Christians in Russia, especially for those a part of house churches, as they are not sure whether they will be charged under the same laws for merely holding Bible studies in the confines of their own homes. 

8/29/2016 Russia (CBN) – Christians in Russia are grappling with a new law that effectively makes it illegal for them to share their faith, preach or pray outside of officially designated sites.

“Everybody is stunned. It came so quickly, so unexpectedly,” said Sergey Rakhuba, president of Mission Eurasia, an organization that equips young church leaders in countries in the post-Soviet world and Eurasia.

Rakhuba says the new law brings back memories of repressive laws passed by former Soviet dictators Nikita Khrushchev and Jospeph Stalin.

“They’re trying to push the evangelical church back behind the walls again as the Soviets did,” he said.

For Christians and others in the Russian faith community, the law means no informal Bible studies in homes and no public sharing of faith. House churches, estimated at 1,000 alone in Moscow, are illegal. Preaching and praying can only happen at state-approved sites.

It’s a huge assault on religious liberty, Dr. Eric Patterson, sean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University, says.

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