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RUSSIA: Strict Opposition to Missionary Activity

RUSSIA: Strict Opposition to Missionary Activity

In July 2016, Russia passed religion laws restricting “illegal missionary activity” by either citizens or foreigners. This activity could involve speaking to people about religion, or the distribution of either printed, audio or video materials.

Between January and June of this year, there have been 42 known prosecutions, resulting in 36 convictions. All those who were convicted received fines.

Most of the recent convictions have not involved religious organisations but rather individuals who were sharing their faith. Those charged were convicted because they did not notify the authorities of the existence of their “religious group”, even though they were acting as individuals.

These laws do not only affect Christians but also citizens belonging to other religious groups. According to Russia’s current laws, individuals or groups engaging in missionary or evangelistic activities of any kind could possibly be subjected to stiff opposition.

Source: Forum18

  • Prayerfully uphold our brothers and sisters in Russia who are presently encountering opposition for sharing their faith.
  • Ask the Lord to provide for those who have received fines so they will have the resources required to pay the penalties.
  • Pray God’s people will not “grow weary of doing good” but rather look with an expectant hope to His promises of an abundant spiritual harvest (Galatians 6:9).

Post your prayer in the comments below.

INDONESIA: Prison Sentences for Church Bombings

INDONESIA: Prison Sentences for Church Bombings

A married couple has been convicted and sentenced for their part in the bombing of three churches in Surabaya in May 2018. Agus Satrio Widodo received a sentence of eight years, and his wife Damayanti received 40 months after a court found them guilty of “aiding criminal acts of terrorism,” as well as criminal conspiracy.

The couple were sentenced in connection with a series of suicide bomb attacks on 13 May 2018. Six members of the same family targeted three churches in the port city of Surabaya during their early morning services. Two brothers, ages 16 and 18, rode motorcycles up to the first church to detonate their bombs. Five minutes later, their father exploded a car bomb on the grounds of the second church. Their mother blew herself up, along with her young daughters, at a third church. At least 14 people died in the attacks.

The family who carried out the attack had recently returned to Indonesia from Syria. Agus Satrio Widodo was the suspected leader of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, a militant group associated with ISIS terrorists. In total, more than 300 kilograms of explosives were discovered in the aftermath of the attack. Widodo and his wife were found to be hiding some of the explosives.

Sources: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Barnabas Fund, Benar News

  • Pray for the repentance and salvation of this couple; may they come to understand the forgiveness, hope and peace that can only be attained through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Pray that Indonesian authorities will remain vigilant in preventing such attacks from occurring in the future.
  • Pray for the church members who have had to cope with loss and injury. Pray their faith will be strengthened.

Post your prayer in the comments below.