Since reporting on the new ‘anti-missionary’ bill which came into force on 20th July, we have been keeping an eye on what difference it has made ‘on the ground’ so far. A number of people have already been arrested and fined. Perhaps one of the most ‘closely watched’ cases is that of Don & Ruth Ossewaarde – baptist missionaries in Oryol, Russia. They have been serving the Lord there for 14 years.
Three policeman arrived at their home during a Sunday morning bible study – Don was arrested and fined 40,000 rubles (over $600) for holding religious services at home and allegedly advertising them on the bulletin boards of nearby housing blocks.
- To follow his case and support them in prayer you can access his blog update here.
- Click here to view the local TV coverage report (English subtitles have been added).
It is still too early to judge the real impact of this new law and we will have to wait and see how the judges of the first raft of court cases decide to interpret the law. However, it is fair to say that the evidence so far does if nothing else flag that the impact of this law on missionaries and local believers in Russia could be very significant.
We must pray on…