Russia Passes Law Affecting Missionary Work, LDS Church Responds

Russia Passes Law Affecting Missionary Work, LDS Church Responds

Photo courtesy of Bernt Rostad / Flickr
Earlier today, news reports began circulating of new legislation in Russia that would affect LDS missionaries serving there. According to Christianity Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a set of new anti-terrorism laws and regulations that would place tighter restrictions on proselyting and evangelism. His approval was announced by the Kremlin yesterday. Opponents hope to appeal the measures or elect new officials to amend them.

The new laws will require citizens to secure a government-issued permit in order to share their faith and no proselyting or teaching can take place outside of church buildings and other religious sites. Individuals would not be allowed to share their faith privately in their homes with others or online.

On Mormon Newsroom, the Church released the following statement:

The Church recognizes a new law will take effect in Russia on July 20, 2016 that will have an impact on missionary work. The Church will honor, sustain and obey the law. Missionaries will remain in Russia and will work within the requirements of the law. The Church will further study and analyze the law and its impact as it goes into effect.

Russia has approximately 22,720 members and 7 missions to serve 100 congregations. The first stake in Russia was organized by President Russell M. Nelson in June 2011.

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