April 4, 2019

RUSSIA: Theological Education Facing Obstructions

Eurasian Theological Seminary - Photo: Google
Eurasian Theological Seminary
Photo: Google

Several religious educational institutions are facing fines, suspension orders, and more, as part of what is considered systemic and intentional obstruction. Yet, the institutions insist there were no violations committed.

Two prominent institutions -- the Baptist Union's Moscow Theological Seminary and the Pentecostal Union's Eurasian Theological Seminary -- are included in recent actions taken as a result of inspections from the federal education inspectorate. In each case, no specific deficiencies were identified to justify the penalties.

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BELARUS: Registration Refused for Church Activities

Church of the Merciful Jesus - Photo: Wikipedia / Andrej Kuzniecyk
Church of the Merciful Jesus
Photo: Wikipedia / Andrej Kuzniecyk

Officials have rejected the registration application for the Pentecostal Your Will Be Done Church in Minsk for the sixth time after a government official pressured a potential landlord to not rent their facility to the church. Due to fear of punishment, the congregation has chosen to not meet for worship without registration.

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CHINA: Prominent Church Closed

Authorities interrogating Shouwang Church members - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
Authorities interrogating
Shouwang Church members
Photo: ChinaAid

Over the past eight years, we have been reporting on numerous incidents of hardship faced by members of the Shouwang Church in Beijing, one of the most prominent unregistered churches in the country. On March 23rd, the police moved in to completely shut down and liquidate the church. For a list of previous reports, click here.

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CHINA: John Cao's Appeal Delayed Again

John Cao - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
Photo: Ben Cao via ChinaAid

Despite continued efforts to submit an appeal, local authorities have again postponed the hearing for John Cao, who was convicted in 2017 of "organizing an illegal border crossing" between China and Myanmar, and thus sentenced to seven years in prison (see this report).

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