Liberty or Death
With the firecracker of freedom still glowing, we’re reminded how rare it is. Adventists have taken the lead in protesting a Russian bill waiting to be signed into law by Vladimir Putin. Under this new law, Christians would be forbidden from evangelism – defined as holding worship, passing out literature, emailing religious websites to people, etc. – anywhere outside the church. All religious groups are required to apply for a permit to hold such services at their church. You’d imagine the powerful Russian Orthodox church would object? You’d be wrong. Because the law only affects those trying to spread their faith beyond their members and, well, nearly every Russian Christian is Orthodox (1% are Protestant). The real target of this “anti-terrorism”(?!?!) law is the 6.5% of Russian Muslims. Adventists respectfully told Putin that this bill was “a gross violation of the Russian Constitution and international law.” We can read Revelation 13 and its prediction of religious persecution and laugh: “Come on, that can’t happen!” Religious liberty is fragile. Pray for our Russian brothers and sisters.