Russian Authorities Target Christian-Run Projects

Thursday, April 10, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

russia-mapPETERSBURG, RUSSIA (Worthy News)-- Christian organizations in Russia that teach secular education may face harassment from government officials, according to Barnabas Aid.

Last month, Russia's Supreme Court upheld a previous ruling that determined the St. Petersburg's Harvest Pentecostal Church wasn't licensed to teach non-religious education. The decision meant that the church had lost the right to own or rent property, but it intends to appeal the ruling to the European Court of Human Rights.

Charges were first brought against Harvest Pentecostal because its building contained classrooms with desks. The St. Petersburg City Court later ruled that the church was running an eksternat: an external home schooling program.

However, the church claimed that it merely allowed its building to be used as an eksternat and that it wasn't involved in any instruction given by a children's pastor and her assistant on their own time.