Since the beginning of 2021, there have been at least 20 court cases against places of worship for holding religious meetings without state permission.
The fines brought against them varied from three weeks’ to four months’ average wages. Amendments are also presently in the works to further tighten certain religious restrictions in the country.
Source: Forum 18
Places of worship are being closely monitored by authorities to determine if any laws have been contravened. A Baptist church in the city of Oral, which was previously fined, is regularly being visited by an official who sits in the back of the sanctuary to monitor the church’s services, watching and writing down the names of those present. The service is also recorded, despite requests from church members to stop doing so. In response to the situation, one member, Nikolai Novikov, countered with:
“Let [the official] come and hear the Word of God.”
Under proposed legislative changes, there will be new restrictions placed on all meetings taking place outside of a building owned by a registered religious community. These changes would then be added to the existing registration requirements.
Let us pray.
- Pray for wisdom and discernment as church leaders and members seek ways to meet the needs of their communities in the midst of the country’s changing regulatory rules.
- Pray they will find innovative ways to effectively reach out to those around them with the message of God’s peace.
- Pray the Lord will speak clearly into the hearts of the officials monitoring the church services, working by His Holy Spirit in and through their lives to bring revelation.