Russian 'anti-terror' legislation raises questions of religious freedom
July 08, 2016
New Russian legislation, aimed at religious extremists, puts new restrictions on missionary work.
Amendments to the country's laws governing religion, signed by President Vladimir Putin on July 7, provide for heavy penalties for those who advocate "extremist" activity. Advocates of religious freedom have voiced concerns about the possible misuse of that provision to silence minority faiths.
The legislation also stipulates that "missionary activity" can be conducted only by the authorized representatives of registered religious communities. That provision appears to outlaw evangelization by lay people acting on their own, and by representives of religious groups that have chosen not to register with the government.
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