New Curbs On Religious Freedom Cast Soviet Shadow Over Russia

By: Geraldine Fagan

This July, Vladimir Putin introduced the severest restrictions on religious freedom in Russia since the Soviet era. The regulations on ‘missionary activity’ form part of a sprawling package of legislation nicknamed the Yarovaya law after its main sponsor. Its express aim is “to counter terrorism and ensure public safety.” The new controls are the long-awaited fruit of fierce lobbying by opponents of religious freedom in Russia.

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Freedom to Believe and Act: Why We All Need Religious Freedom

By: Russell D. Moore

Some of my ancestors did time in prison. Now, no doubt, like many of us, my family tree probably includes unsavory sorts who wound up in the penitentiary for bootlegging or armed robbery; I don’t know. 

I am sure, though, that my spiritual forebears, the early Baptists, were in jail for less shady reasons: for preaching the gospel without a state license. Those Baptists went to jail, and then agitated for freedom of conscience for everyone, because they believed that nobody’s orthodoxy ought to be state-enforced—including their own. Those pesky Baptists, and their allies, gave us a government that recognized universal religious liberty, a heritage that belongs now to all of us.

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