COMMENTARY: Although the just signed in-to-law prohibits all religious groups from preaching, obviously it will impact Jehovah’s Witnesses most directly since Jehovah’s Witnesses are all about witnessing about the truth. Most people probably don’t realize that Jehovah’s Witnesses were illegal in Russia until quite recently, after the fall of the USSR. All during the Soviet era Jehovah’s Witnesses were hauled off to gulags in Siberia for preaching. While the new law does not strictly ban Jehovah’s Witnesses from meeting together, will the current generation of Witnesses defy Caesar and obey Christ’s command to go make disciples, even if fined or imprisoned? It will be interesting to see.


 

RNS) Several U.S.-based religious denominations remain defiant in the face of new laws that would ban them from proselytizing in Russia.

The so-called “Yarovaya laws” make it illegal to preach, proselytize or hand out religious materials outside of specially designated places. The laws also give the Russian government wide scope to monitor and record electronic messages and phone calls.

The package of laws, billed as anti-terrorism measures, was passed by the Russian Duma, or parliament, on June 24 and signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 7.

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