Barnabas Fund, 12 December 2019
Despite Putin’s recently proclaimed stance of protecting Christians, court actions by Russian authorities to close or place restrictions on evangelical churches suggest they are deliberately targeting evangelical Christians.
Another three evangelical churches have been closed where witness testimonies and the conclusions of independent commissions and examinations were ignored.
A motion was filed against the Cathedral Church in Kaluga, on 3 December, prohibiting it from operating and seeking to demolish it. Since its inception, the church has been subject to constant inspections as well as attempts to institute criminal proceedings against the pastor.
The Christian Evangelical Church has existed in Oryol on land it has owned since 1990. In early 2018, authorities inspected the church and identified 78 safety and other violations. In May 2018, the court issued a decision to close the building despite all violations being rectified.
Christian Olga Glamozdinova won a landmark legal case on 14 November when the Russian Constitutional Court ruled that worship services can take place in private houses.