Russian Prosecutor General's Office condemns hunt for Protestants
The Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation demanded that comments from the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia that characterize certain registered religious groups as “destructive” be withdrawn, reports Christian Telegraph in reference to Associated Russian Union of Christians of Evangelical-Pentecostal Faith press center. A letter from Sergey Ryahovski, Supervisory Bishop of the Associated Russian Union of Christians of Evangelical-Pentecostal Faith, had entreated the Prosecutor General to respond to these allegations.
On October 25th, 2011, Artur Surin, the Deputy Minister of Education of the Republic of Bashkortostan sent letters around to authorities and heads of educational institutions about the dangers of “foreign religious organizations of destructive persuasion.” These letters stated that there are nearly one hundred religious organizations of “destructive persuasion” in Bashkortostan, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists, Unification Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Evangelical Christians, Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists Christians and Evangelical Christian-Baptists.
In an official response to this letter, Victor Grin, the Deputy of Prosecutor-General of Russian Federation, noted that the religious organizations mentioned in Mr. Surin’s letter are “officially registered and act according to the Russian law.” Mr. Surin was also brought a charge by the Prosecutor General's Office.
The Advisory Council of Protestant Leaders of Russia, which consists of leaders of the biggest Russian Protestant unions, also sent an appeal concerning this case to the Ministry of Education of Russian Federation.