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Missionaries being detained in Russia

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One of my best mates in the Church served in the Russian Far East and was gaoled more than once. Nothing new here. Our missionaries will be fine.

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I've been told that the laws about preaching etc. do not apply to the Russian Orthodox Church . True? 

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

I've been told that the laws about preaching etc. do not apply to the Russian Orthodox Church . True? 

I believe if it is seen as a native faith, it is okay.  It is " foreign" churches that are limited....but I could be wrong as not paying that close of attention.

When we were there in 96 (might have been a few weeks after we left, can't remember exactly when we took off) one nationalist identified three native faiths...ROC, Islam, and Buddhism.  Some Russians were shocked he didn't include Judaism, but the guy was a royal bigot, so not that surprising.

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/498207/LEBED-VOWS-TO-CLEANSE-RUSSIA-OF-RELIGIOUS-FILTH.html

He apologized later.

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edit:  wiki provides

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According to the law, any religious organisation may be recognised as "traditional" if it was already in existence before 1982, and each newly founded religious group has to provide its credentials and re-register yearly for fifteen years, and, in the meantime until eventual recognition, stay without rights.[3]

 

Edited by Calm

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While neither the constitution nor the 1997 Law grants explicit privileges or advantages to the four "traditional" religions, in practice the ROC cooperates more closely with the Government than do other faiths. The ROC has entered into a number of formal and informal agreements with various government ministries that give the ROC far greater access than other religious groups to public institutions such as schools, hospitals, prisons, the police, and the army. ROC activities with the Government include support for the psychological rehabilitation of servicemen returning from conflict zones, the holding of religious services for those serving in conflict zones, and cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs to combat extremism.

The ROC has special arrangements with government agencies to conduct religious education and to provide spiritual counseling. These include agreements with the Ministries of Education, Defense, Health, Internal Affairs, and Emergency Situations, and other bodies, such as the Federal Tax Service, Federal Border Service, and Main Department of Cossack Forces. Not all of the details of these agreements were accessible, but available information indicated that the ROC received preferential treatment.

Officials in law enforcement and the legislative branches spoke of protecting the "spiritual security" of the country by discouraging the growth of "sects" and "cults", usually understood to include some Protestant and newer religious movements. In January 2007, the Moscow City Prosecutor warned of the danger posed by extremist and dangerous new religious movements entering the country, and promised tough measures to stop their activities. To date, no such measures have been proposed or implemented.

The National Security Concept of the Russian Federation, last updated in 2000, states that "ensuring national security includes countering the negative influence of foreign religious organizations and missionaries."

Representative offices of foreign religious organizations are required to register with state authorities, and they may not conduct services or other religious activities unless they have acquired the status of a group or organization. In practice, many foreign religious representative offices opened without registering or were accredited to a registered religious organization.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_religion_in_Russia

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The 2016 Yarovaya Law, named after politician Irina Yarovaya, extends the legal restrictions against extremism to include evangelism by minority faiths.[4][5][6][7]

From what I read in this article and othervplaces over the years as well as what we heard from Russian friends in the 90s, any religion besides that ROC faced prejudice...but a lot could be explained by corruption and organizations not being willing to pay bribery, etc.

The ROC leaders did not have a good reputation among the Russians we knew, though I can't remember if there were any ROC members among our friends.

Edited by Calm
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Ultra-Orthodox Jews (Chabad) do send missionaries to Russia, but they are long-term non-proselyting missionary families who merely serve as rabbis to already existing Jewish families in Russia.  They speak Yiddish and Russian and serve for 30-40 years.  The Russian govt does not give them any problems.

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This happens regularly in Greece too.

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They should really call all the missionaries home from Russia. It's a mafia state, and things are only going to get worse over there.

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9 hours ago, strappinglad said:

I've been told that the laws about preaching etc. do not apply to the Russian Orthodox Church . True? 

Yes, it's an organ of the state, sometimes even of Russian intelligence.

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1 hour ago, Gray said:

They should really call all the missionaries home from Russia. It's a mafia state, and things are only going to get worse over there.

More reason for us to share the gospel when we can

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18 minutes ago, Avatar4321 said:

More reason for us to share the gospel when we can

Maybe once the Putin regime has been toppled.

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9 minutes ago, Gray said:

Maybe once the Putin regime has been toppled.

Look, he told our President he did not do all those bad things and the President believes him. Why can’t you? Don’t be blinded by the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

Look, he told our President he did not do all those bad things and the President believes him. Why can’t you? Don’t be blinded by the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Can you cool your political partisan jets some? I would like this thread to remain open.

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And we are expecting a temple in Russia?  It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds.

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8 minutes ago, Anijen said:

Can you cool your political partisan jets some? I would like this thread to remain open.

Fine!

(mutters) Spoiling my nice honeypot...... (grumble grumble)

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Posted (edited)

Never mind...too political.

Edited by pogi

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7 minutes ago, cinepro said:

The thread title is patently false.  We haven't had missionaries in Russia for years, so it would be impossible for any missionaries to be detained there.

On another note, did anyone hear about those volunteers in Russia that got arrested? 

And on a final note, whoever in the COB thought calling the missionaries "volunteers" would keep them safe should be released and fired from their job for severe incompetence.  "Oh, we'll just play a fun little semantic game with a brutal regime in a culture and language that is diametrically different than ours.  What could go wrong?"

Over the past few years I've heard a few stories where, what we call missionaries, were thrown in jail in Russia, from those missionaries themselves.  The last time was at some eatery in Provo where a young man was serving me and what turned out to be a former mission president in Russia.  They laughed and reminisced, and the story was, quite a few missionaries ended up in jail for a time, including the very server who was serving us.  "I wasn't proselyting at all", he demurred "I was walking down the street to meet with a member family at night and they nabbed us".  

He got one fat tip via that old mission pres.  

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7 hours ago, Gray said:

Maybe once the Putin regime has been toppled.

We were preaching the gospel in east Germany and building the temple there before the communists were toppled 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, strappinglad said:

I've been told that the laws about preaching etc. do not apply to the Russian Orthodox Church . True? 

Yes.

I was invited to a meeting  of the antiMormons some years ago -- very interesting.  They talked about how they sent their missionaries to talk with the leaders of the Orthodox church on how to deal with the "Mormon problem".  I guess they were too successful since the new law  affected them as well.

Edited by cdowis

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I found this interesting. Donald Trump Junior tweeted about the LDS missionaries being detained. https://dailycaller.com/2019/03/06/donald-trump-jr-slams-russian-detaining-mormons/

Terrible, I know many great Mormon families with children who are missionaries or who have done missions. That they would be held for doing this and their numerous other charitable deeds is sickening!”

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They talked about how they sent their missionaries to talk with the leaders of the Orthodox church on how to deal with the "Mormon problem".  I

The Russian Orthodox Church didn't need advice from anyone else on how to deal with "problems", from what I saw.  They were pushing for exclusion of other faiths, especially any "foreign" ones looking to evangelize from the beginning of the 90s as reported in the Moscow papers.  My Russian friends thought they were self centered power hungry idiots given the extensive charity work these groups were doing, bringing money to the country.

Edited by Calm

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This has been happening for many years.  Only difference is this event was noticed by the press. 

Russian police routinely shake down missionaries for bribes.  If not paid,  the police shut down meeting places for 'fire code' violations or detain the missionaries and confiscate passports for some technical reason.

In this case someone probably was not paid off properly. 

Abandoning the good people (and members) of Russia because of harassment is not a solution to this problem. 

 

 

Edited by jbarm
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On 3/6/2019 at 6:13 AM, Gray said:

They should really call all the missionaries home from Russia. It's a mafia state, and things are only going to get worse over there.

I see you have bought into the propoganda and still believe Cohen was in Prague 

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