Christians Concerned as Russian President Signs Law Requiring Government Permission to Share Faith

Putin Credit SiteMOSCOW — The president of Russia has signed into a law an anti-terror bill that contains several provisions that have raised concerns among Christians, including requirements that religious citizens obtain permission from the government to share their faith.

According to reports, the amendments to the “Yarovaya law,” named after the bill’s author, are meant to protect citizens from terrorists in the country and mandate severe punishment for those found to be financing or aiding terrorism.

However, in addition to requirements about telephone records and online data encryption, the amendments also include text affecting missionary activity throughout Russia. Any preaching or proselytization outside of a church building will now be considered missionary activity, and any persons wishing to share their faith with others must first receive a government permit through a registered religious organization.

“Even in a private home, worship and prayer will only be allowed if there are no unbelievers present,” the Barnabas Fund outlines. “Churches will also be held accountable for the activities of their members. So if, for example, a church member mentions their faith in conversation with a work colleague, not only the church member but also the church itself could be punished…”

Violators could face up to $780 for an individual and $15,500 for an organization. Foreign missionaries could possibly face expulsion if they violate the law and/or speak in churches without a work permit.

“It could stop missionary activity to anybody but representatives, registered organizations and groups. It would require every missionary to have documents with specific information proving connections to a registered religious group,” Joel Griffith of the Slavic Gospel Association told Mission Network News.

Several evangelical leaders wrote a letter to Putin following the law’s passage to express their concerns about the potential ramifications of the legislation, which they believe is a violation of their religious liberty rights.

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“The obligation on every believer to have a special permit to spread his or her beliefs, as well as hand out religious literature and material outside of places of worship and used structures is not only absurd and offensive, but also creates the basis for mass persecution of believers for violating these provisions,” the letter stated.

“Soviet history shows us how many people of different faiths have been persecuted for spreading the Word of God. This law brings us back to a shameful past,” it said.

The Barnabas Fund believes that the law is simply “using the excuse of anti-terrorist legislation to clamp down on any churches other than the Russian Orthodox, support for which is closely tied to Russian nationalism.”

Griffith says that at this point, there is no telling how the law will be enforced. Christians are praying that the language of the legislation will be altered or repealed.

“There are potentially very wide-sweeping ramifications to this law. It just depends on, again, how it is going to be enforced and that is a very huge question mark,” he said.


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  • OldBut YoungMoney

    I’m so confused why a law like this was passed in Russia? Especially seeing as the Russian Orthodox church is getting stronger and stronger…

    • Grace Kim Kwon

      The Orthodox bullies other kind of the Christians, but Russia’s Christianity is a miracle anyway. The Russian Christians proved that evil men cannot root out Christianity. May the Russians seek Jesus from all their heart. This earthly life is nothing comparing to what Jesus gives to His people forever. (John ch.13-17, Revelation ch.21-22)

  • Joshua Krug

    “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” St. Francis of Assisi. Implement this for your own safety now.

    • Patrick Van Der Ven

      No according to Russian law. Also people have a right to be free from others who endeavour to force their religious views on others. A question for you, “Are your truths the”same as mine”?

      • Conrad Fisher

        Romans 10:14,15 (the Apostle Paul) Question: What difference should it make to the believer if someone has a different “truth”. Christians are to preach Christ and Christ crucified. Christ, the way, the truth and the life.

        • Patrick Van Der Ven

          This is of course strange when Jesus himself said he was inferior to God and Jesus denied his deification biblically. If we look at Genesis the definition of God is someone that knows good from evil and is immortal.

          • Charles

            “”Jesus denied his deification biblically. “”

            He did!??

            Every Apostle sure thought he was…

            Joh 1:1-2 KJV
            (1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
            (2) The same was in the beginning with God.

            Joh 1:14 KJV
            (14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

            Joh 10:30-38 KJV
            (30) I and my Father are one.
            (31) Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
            (32) Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
            (33) The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
            (34) Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
            (35) If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
            (36) Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
            (37) If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
            (38) But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

            Act 20:27-28 KJV
            (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
            (28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

            Joh 20:24-29 KJV
            (24) But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
            (25) The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
            (26) And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
            (27) Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
            (28) And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
            (29) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

            Tit 2:11-15 KJV
            (11) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
            (12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
            (13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
            (14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
            (15) These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

            2Pe 1:1 KJV
            (1) Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

            Heb 1:7-8 MKJV
            (7) And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”
            (8) But to the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

            Joh 1:1-2 KJV
            (1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
            (2) The same was in the beginning with God.

            Joh 1:14 KJV
            (14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

            Joh 10:30-38 KJV
            (30) I and my Father are one.
            (31) Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
            (32) Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
            (33) The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
            (34) Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
            (35) If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
            (36) Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
            (37) If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
            (38) But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

            Act 20:27-28 KJV
            (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
            (28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

            Joh 20:24-29 KJV
            (24) But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
            (25) The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
            (26) And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
            (27) Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
            (28) And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
            (29) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

            Tit 2:11-15 KJV
            (11) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
            (12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
            (13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
            (14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
            (15) These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

            2Pe 1:1 KJV
            (1) Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

            Heb 1:7-8 MKJV
            (7) And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”
            (8) But to the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

            Rev 19:9-13 MKJV
            (9) And he said to me, Write, Blessed are those who have been called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God.
            (10) And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, See, do not do it! I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
            (11) And I saw Heaven opened. And behold, a white horse! And He sitting on him was called Faithful and True. And in righteousness He judges and makes war.
            (12) And His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head many crowns. And He had a name written, one that no one knew except Himself.
            (13) And He had been clothed in a garment dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

            The first verse alone in John 1:1 is verification alone that he was God in the flesh.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            I accept the deity of Jesus based on the tradition and authority of the Church. I have answered John 1.1 already.

        • Patrick Van Der Ven

          Dear Conrad, I am sorry I failed to answer you. The bible is clear we are judged not on what we believe, but how we act. Therefore, I say the pagan who does good works over the Christian who preaches, but does nothing and claims salvation to grace is inline for heavenly rewards. Faith without Works Is Dead
          James 2:14-26Revised Standard Version (RSV)
          18 But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. 20 Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, 23 and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Atheists always do atheistic things – oppression. Russia’s treasure is its Christian literature. Honest Christians read the Holy Bible and study it as much as possible. Planet Earth needs men who trust in Jesus, live to honor God, don’t drink alcohol( do not get drunk), and protect the family intact over all things.

    • james blue

      Putin is not an Atheist.

      It wasn’t so long ago that Russia banned “pro gay speech” and Christians on sites like this rejoiced and lauded Putin. Now Christians are facing the similar treatment.
      ————————————————————————————————————-
      First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.

      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

      Martin Niemöller

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Russian Orthodox Church has been anything but friendly to Evangelical(Biblical) Christians anyway. Every Christian must read the Holy Bible and study it instead of relying on the religious traditions. All Westerners must understand that Christianity is good and homosexuality/transgenderism is evil. Normal humans would never understand today’s secular West’s notion of actively pushing homosexuality and transgenderism. In today’s West, evils have rights as well as the good though all sins are slavery. Mankind is facing an unprecedented crisis; there was no civilization before that actively pushed such destructive sexual depravity and treated the evil as equal with the good. Not even the ancient pagan Greeks did such thing; they knew the difference between good and evil. It’s a sheer miracle that the secular West still considers pedophilia as evil, but no one knows what will become of the Post-christian West’s norm tomorrow. The Western culture must stop defending the evil to get a life. Normal societies defend the good, not the evil.

        • Sploon

          Please…as baptist speaking…please stop it with hate speech.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            ? Fact-telling is not hate. Please don’t become a liberal if you are really a Baptist. The Western nations were created to spread the life-giving Christianity and they were once a Christendom before; they should not become an oppressive Sodom this century. Enough of slavery on Planet Earth. Christianity is good and vital to all. Immorality is evil and oppressive to all; sin is slavery. Christianity alone brings freedom to everyone.

          • Sploon

            Hate is not facts.
            And the Western world is and should not be governed by one religion, even if it is one i support.
            And everyone deserves the right to do what they want, even god gave them that.
            And it`s very appealing you saying `christianity brings freedom` when you want to take people`s rights away.You are the kind of person that makes people not want to participate in church.And stop being so self righteous,you aren`t any better than other people.
            And stop looking at gay people and only seeing sin instead of seeing a person who might be a great person with a great personality.
            And stop looking at the world as a cess pool when it shows beauty in it too.
            If it didn`t god wouldnt give his son to save it.

            Thanks for reading,

            See you in Gondor.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The West has no moral standard apart from Christianity. Sodomic Westerners hate Christianity and everything that is moral and are using their filthy power to enslave the world this time by abnormal immorality. Enough of slavery by the well-fed sexual pervs. Complying with the Sodomic Western culture is becoming a slave. Sin is slavery. Jesus alone can free mankind because He is the Truth.

  • Gena B

    so much for evangelizing, wow

  • Lina Bloem

    Don’t worry I’m sure all Christian will be aproved it’s for the mozos (moslems)

    • Jacquie

      That is what I was thinking. Putin is a smart man and knows how to go about doing something to get a result. You are definitely correct. If he did it any other way, then he would be crucified by Obama and the NWO takeover evil psychos who are infiltrating Countries with evil.

    • Sploon

      *muslims
      And even muslim should have the right to pronounce their religion.

  • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

    Russian Christians can note that this law was signed without authority. The authority to revoke Jesus specific command to share faith does not rest with the Russian government. They are going beyond their boundaries, which is unwise.

    Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  • Herb Planter

    fail much Putin?

  • Patrick Van Der Ven

    I do not see this as an attack on religious freedom in Russia.

  • Patrick Van Der Ven

    I do not see this as an attack on religious freedom. Rather it protects Russian citizens from attempts of religious fanatics who endeavour to proselytise. Freedom of religion equates also to freedom from religion.

    • Joshua Krug

      What a way to twist freedoms.

      • Patrick Van Der Ven

        Thanks for writing to me Joshua. So does that mean I have the right to impose my Catholicism on you? So my belief system holds born again Christianity to be heterodox. Based upon the original Greek it is misinterpretation of the word and an apostate belief system.

        • Joshua Krug

          I am a confirmed Catholic.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Same as I am. Well we would not have disputes on religion 🙂 We don’t proselytise.

          • Joshua Krug

            Where do you get that understanding?

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            From the Pope “‘Do not proselytize’

            What Catholics have falsely been led to believe is that “the Church no longer has a monopoly on truth.” These were in fact the very words of Cardinal Rodrigo Maradiaga, head of the “Group of Eight,” when he laid out Francis’ program of new evangelization in Dallas on October 25, 2013. In his pithy counsel, Francis is simply rephrasing Vatican II teachings on ecumenism and conversion, which denies the militant and missionary characters of the Catholic Church and sets out a new role based on dialogue and inter-confessionalism. Basing themselves on conciliar documents affirming that “elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church” (GS 8b, NA 2 and many more (1) , both John Paul II and Benedict XVI rejected proselytism and encouraged “brotherly relations” with the false religions. Are these just more crackpot ramblings of the spontaneous Francis? I fear not. They reflect what the post-conciliar Popes have been preaching since Vatican II. The nonchalant reaction of the clergy and people – who have come to accept this notion of dialogue replacing conversion – is proof that Francis is saying nothing ‘novel,’ only repeating straightforwardly what the post-conciliar Popes have already said. Likewise, the Catholic apologists – counting many saints among them – who entered into polemics with heretics with the aim of converting them would be wrong. The departure point for discussion would not be the Catholic Faith, but “respect” for the identity of each false religion, an implicit admission that salvation can be found outside the Catholic Church. The ecumenist approach ends in empty pewsEmpty pews Here we find a strong insinuation that the Church was wrong in the past when she ordered her missionaries to evangelize and expand by converting others to the Catholic Faith. The conversion of the Indians in South and Central America, for example, would have been wrong: These missionaries should have respected the pagan gods and religious customs of the indigenous peoples and dialogued with them, not instructed them in the Catholic Faith. These were his words of tip No. 1 – “Do not proselytize” – “We can inspire others through witness so that both grow together in that communication. But the worst thing you can do is religious proselytizing, which paralyzes. ‘I am talking to you in order to persuade you.’ No. Each one must dialogue from his own identity. The Church grows by attraction, not by proselytism (conversion).” By far the most controversial bit of advice was Francis’ straightforward command: Don’t proselytize.

          • Joshua Krug

            Well, put that message in perspective he was speaking at the World Congress of Education, and his words spoke of the transcendence of the human person in shalom. Proselytizing was first associated with Judaism. But if at any time you would take the words themselves to avert men’s attention from the gospel you fail as a minister and evangelist of the Word to which you were called. We are called reconcile a broken world. That take conversion and being born again.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            So you would gainsay the Holy Father and put words in his mouth. Interesting. The concept of being born again is heresy. For a Catholic to propound such a doctrine is to promote apostasy.

          • Joshua Krug

            Being born again is not heresy but the intention could be. Like offering to Catholics “to keep their mouths shut,” because, “we don’t proselytize.” Your intimidation doesn’t work here.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            No one is endeavouring to intimidate you. Mein Gott, I am making you aware of what the Church and the Holy Father says. Proselytisation has clearly been proscribed by the Pope. Hence I will only enter into dialogues with people about Catholicism; however, you may do as you choose. The concept of being “born again” is a manipulation of scripture and what is worse an incorrect translation of “ἄνωθεν”. Hence it is an heretical doctrine. Those that propound it are in serious error.

          • Joshua Krug

            Gospel says I won’t do as I want; I’m not under that kind of liberty.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Human nature and a knowledge of right and wrong convicts you. Christianity or the monotheistic religions does not have a monopoly on morality.

          • Joshua Krug

            What does the convicting? Here I am thinking there is only one God.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            True per our faith we say there is one God and yet we ascribe three dimensions to God and three separate co-equal persons. We define God as good and thus when someone prays to God under any different name or personage they are in fact praying to the same one God. How God chooses to reveal Himself to a Hindu, Buddhist, Wiccan or even an atheist is one the great mysteries of God. Remember we judged not through belief, but our actions.

          • Joshua Krug

            There is a certain selfishness to not living according to the truth. And if anyone has welcomed him, that one is convicted. Goodness is his fruit. People can not call on God, unless someone is sent to them with the message of peace and reconciliation, it is no great mystery. Though, if you want to speak of things old, just look to the first chapter of Romans; God is known in what he has made. He is holy and there is none like him. We are judged by our actions, also by “every idle word,” and faith will determine if we please God or not. Human nature doesn’t convict me of anything, nor the knowledge of good and evil, both these are corrupt. But with the Spirit I can understand the nature of human beings and can discern good and evil. I am wondering though, if you bought a field, would you choose one that doesn’t produce fruit, seeing as you say that monotheistic faith including Christianity holds no monopoly on truth?

          • Joshua Krug

            Acts 26:27-29New International Version (NIV)

            27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

            28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

            29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            I am quoting an article and stating Pope Francis. So in answer to your question, the Pope. Note this is a direct copy and paste from tradition in Action based on Viva.

            “By far the most controversial bit of advice was Francis’ straightforward command: Don’t proselytize.

            These were his words of tip No. 1 – “Do not proselytize” – “We can
            inspire others through witness so that both grow together in that
            communication. But the worst thing you can do is religious
            proselytizing, which paralyzes. ‘I am talking to you in order to
            persuade you.’ No. Each one must dialogue from his own identity. The
            Church grows by attraction, not by proselytism (conversion).”

            Here we find a strong insinuation that the Church was wrong in the past
            when she ordered her missionaries to evangelize and expand by converting
            others to the Catholic Faith. The conversion of the Indians in South
            and Central America, for example, would have been wrong: These
            missionaries should have respected the pagan gods and religious customs
            of the indigenous peoples and dialogued with them, not instructed them
            in the Catholic Faith.

            The ecumenist approach ends in empty pews
            Likewise, the Catholic apologists – counting many saints among them –
            who entered into polemics with heretics with the aim of converting them
            would be wrong. The departure point for discussion would not be the
            Catholic Faith, but “respect” for the identity of each false religion,
            an implicit admission that salvation can be found outside the Catholic
            Church.

            Are these just more crackpot ramblings of the spontaneous
            Francis? I fear not. They reflect what the post-conciliar Popes have
            been preaching since Vatican II. The nonchalant reaction of the clergy
            and people – who have come to accept this notion of dialogue replacing
            conversion – is proof that Francis is saying nothing ‘novel,’ only
            repeating straightforwardly what the post-conciliar Popes have already
            said.

            Basing themselves on conciliar documents affirming that
            “elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside the visible
            confines of the Catholic Church” (GS 8b, NA 2 and many more (1) , both
            John Paul II and Benedict XVI rejected proselytism and encouraged
            “brotherly relations” with the false religions.

            What Catholics
            have falsely been led to believe is that “the Church no longer has a
            monopoly on truth.” These were in fact the very words of Cardinal
            Rodrigo Maradiaga, head of the “Group of Eight,” when he laid out
            Francis’ program of new evangelization in Dallas on October 25, 2013. In
            his pithy counsel, Francis is simply rephrasing Vatican II teachings on
            ecumenism and conversion, which denies the militant and missionary
            characters of the Catholic Church and sets out a new role based on
            dialogue and inter-confessionalism.

            By far the most controversial bit of advice was Francis’ straightforward command: Don’t proselytize.

            These were his words of tip No. 1 – “Do not proselytize” – “We can
            inspire others through witness so that both grow together in that
            communication. But the worst thing you can do is religious
            proselytizing, which paralyzes. ‘I am talking to you in order to
            persuade you.’ No. Each one must dialogue from his own identity. The
            Church grows by attraction, not by proselytism (conversion).”

            Here we find a strong insinuation that the Church was wrong in the past
            when she ordered her missionaries to evangelize and expand by converting
            others to the Catholic Faith. The conversion of the Indians in South
            and Central America, for example, would have been wrong: These
            missionaries should have respected the pagan gods and religious customs
            of the indigenous peoples and dialogued with them, not instructed them
            in the Catholic Faith.

            The ecumenist approach ends in empty pews
            Likewise, the Catholic apologists – counting many saints among them –
            who entered into polemics with heretics with the aim of converting them
            would be wrong. The departure point for discussion would not be the
            Catholic Faith, but “respect” for the identity of each false religion,
            an implicit admission that salvation can be found outside the Catholic
            Church.

            Are these just more crackpot ramblings of the spontaneous
            Francis? I fear not. They reflect what the post-conciliar Popes have
            been preaching since Vatican II. The nonchalant reaction of the clergy
            and people – who have come to accept this notion of dialogue replacing
            conversion – is proof that Francis is saying nothing ‘novel,’ only
            repeating straightforwardly what the post-conciliar Popes have already
            said.

            Basing themselves on conciliar documents affirming that
            “elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside the visible
            confines of the Catholic Church” (GS 8b, NA 2 and many more (1) , both
            John Paul II and Benedict XVI rejected proselytism and encouraged
            “brotherly relations” with the false religions.

            What Catholics
            have falsely been led to believe is that “the Church no longer has a
            monopoly on truth.” These were in fact the very words of Cardinal
            Rodrigo Maradiaga, head of the “Group of Eight,” when he laid out
            Francis’ program of new evangelization in Dallas on October 25, 2013. In
            his pithy counsel, Francis is simply rephrasing Vatican II teachings on
            ecumenism and conversion, which denies the militant and missionary
            characters of the Catholic Church and sets out a new role based on
            dialogue and inter-confessionalism”.

          • Charles

            I’ve never heard that term before.. I assume though you mean practicing Catholic?

    • Jennifer Hollyfield

      The bible tells us to go and spread the gospel. If we didn’t do that then how would anybody come to know the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

      • Patrick Van Der Ven

        How we live our lives as a testimonial and through dialogue and not militant Evangelisation. Words become vapourings if deeds are not followed by words. we also need to be aware that all faiths are touched by God and have a truth to them.

        • Charles

          “”We also need to be aware that all faiths are touched by God and have a truth to them. ”

          Awwww.. How ecumenical of you! I never thought I would ever be apart of this age.. But the Lord was right… As always. Perilous times are coming.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            We have spoken before Charles. How are you? I have discussed sola scriptura with you and the apostasy of being born again.

          • Charles

            Doing good Patrick. Hope you are doing well. So if I understand you, the Pope or Church is your ultimate authority? Is that correct?

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Well in matters temporal yes. He is the Vicar of Christ. I know what you are doing, by the way. I am ready you know. ( I said a rosary for you once.)

          • Charles

            I appreciate the thought Patrick.. But they are just beads.. They don’t have any power.. Only the Lord Jesus Christ has power. No need for the beads, or any of the other trinkets Catholics so love to worship.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            They help you count your decades. Of course beads have no power. The prayers are what count.

          • Charles

            They why use the beads with prayer?

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            They help you count decades.

          • Charles

            So then, I would also assume you believe in purgatory then as well?

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Yes. I can defend all points.

          • Charles

            Awesome.. Let’s hear it!

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Some Fundamentalists charge, as though it actually proved something, “The word purgatory is nowhere found in Scripture.” This is true, and yet it does not disprove the existence of purgatory or the fact that belief in it has always been part of Church teaching. The words Trinity and Incarnation aren’t in Scripture either, yet those doctrines are clearly taught in it. Likewise, Scripture teaches that purgatory exists, even if it doesn’t use that word and even if 1 Peter 3:19 refers to a place other than purgatory.

            Christ refers to the sinner who “will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matt. 12:32), suggesting that one can be freed after death of the consequences of one’s sins. Similarly, Paul tells us that, when we are judged, each man’s work will be tried. And what happens if a righteous man’s work fails the test? “He will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” (1 Cor 3:15). Now this loss, this penalty, can’t refer to consignment to hell, since no one is saved there; and heaven can’t be meant, since there is no suffering (“fire”) there. The Catholic doctrine of purgatory alone explains this passage.

            Then, of course, there is the Bible’s approval of prayers for the dead: “In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the dead to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin” (2 Macc. 12:43–45). Prayers are not needed by those in heaven, and no one can help those in hell. That means some people must be in a third condition, at least temporarily. This verse so clearly illustrates the existence of purgatory that, at the time of the Reformation, Protestants had to cut the books of the Maccabees out of their Bibles in order to avoid accepting the doctrine.

            Prayers for the dead and the consequent doctrine of purgatory have been part of the true religion since before the time of Christ. Not only can we show it was practised by the Jews of the time of the Maccabees, but it has even been retained by Orthodox Jews today, who recite a prayer known as the Mourner’s Kaddish for eleven months after the death of a loved one so that the loved one may be purified. It was not the Catholic Church that added the doctrine of purgatory. Rather, any change in the original teaching has taken place in the Protestant churches, which rejected a doctrine that had always been believed by Jews and Christians.

            Why would anyone go to purgatory? To be cleansed, for “nothing unclean shall enter [heaven]” (Rev. 21:27). Anyone who has not been completely freed of sin and its effects is, to some extent, “unclean.” Through repentance he may have gained the grace needed to be worthy of heaven, which is to say, he has been forgiven and his soul is spiritually alive. But that’s not sufficient for gaining entrance into heaven. He needs to be cleansed completely.

            Fundamentalists claim, as an article in Jimmy Swaggart’s magazine, The Evangelist, put it, that “Scripture clearly reveals that all the demands of divine justice on the sinner have been completely fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It also reveals that Christ has totally redeemed, or purchased back, that which was lost. The advocates of a purgatory (and the necessity of prayer for the dead) say, in effect, that the redemption of Christ was incomplete. . . . It has all been done for us by Jesus Christ, there is nothing to be added or done by man.”

            It is entirely correct to say that Christ accomplished all of our salvation for us on the cross. But that does not settle the question of how this redemption is applied to us. Scripture reveals that it is applied to us over the course of time through, among other things, the process of sanctification through which the Christian is made holy. Sanctification involves suffering (Rom. 5:3–5), and purgatory is the final stage of sanctification that some of us need to undergo before we enter heaven. Purgatory is the final phase of Christ’s applying to us the purifying redemption that he accomplished for us by his death on the cross.

            The Fundamentalist resistance to the biblical doctrine of purgatory presumes there is a contradiction between Christ’s redeeming us on the cross and the process by which we are sanctified. There isn’t. And a Fundamentalist cannot say that suffering in the final stage of sanctification conflicts with the sufficiency of Christ’s atonement without saying that suffering in the early stages of sanctification also presents a similar conflict. The Fundamentalist has it backward: Our suffering in sanctification does not take away from the cross. Rather, the cross produces our sanctification, which results in our suffering, because “[f]or the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11).

            Purgatory makes sense because there is a requirement that a soul not just be declared to be clean, but actually be clean, before a man may enter into eternal life. After all, if a guilty soul is merely “covered,” if its sinful state still exists but is officially ignored, then it is still a guilty soul. It is still unclean.

            Catholic theology takes seriously the notion that “nothing unclean shall enter heaven.” From this it is inferred that a less than cleansed soul, even if “covered,” remains a dirty soul and isn’t fit for heaven. It needs to be cleansed or “purged” of its remaining imperfections. The cleansing occurs in purgatory. Indeed, the necessity of the purging is taught in other passages of Scripture, such as 2 Thessalonians 2:13, which declares that God chose us “to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit.” Sanctification is thus not an option, something that may or may not happen before one gets into heaven. It is an absolute requirement, as Hebrews 12:14 states that we must strive “for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”

          • https://sentientchristian.com/ #KJV #Bible #AV1611

            Anyone who contradicted the catholic so called church was usually murdered.
            It is probably the only thing that the vatican is actually proficient at, as well as Lying of course.

          • Charles

            I have to ask what are good works Patrick?

          • Charles

            So the Pope is the authority of God on earth??

  • BoboAyo

    Not sure Russia is doing this to go after people of good spirit that don’t proselytize and cram their faith down people’s throats. I think it’s being done to prevent hyper zealots from trying to brainwash people and back them into corners. Russia’s Orthodox Church is very strong in Russia. Christmas is very much celebrated. But I think extremists from all faiths might be trying to move into Russia and that is why this law was written and passed. How it is enforced is yet to be seen. But if it keeps radical Islam out and under strict monitoring then so be it. I am a believer of strong faith but I don’t go around like a zealot either. Guess we’ll see how it all plays out over time. More than likely this is a stern warning to keep radical clerics and their followers at bay. And personally that whole idea of not worshipping in your own home if a non believer is present is a little strange. You kind of then have to be mean at Christmas time and not have ANY atheists or agnostics at your home lest they turn their hosts in for sharing in the joy of the season. That’s a bit much.

  • http://thebenevolentthou.com/ Max T. Furr, author

    I did not see where Christians were singled out. The bill prohibits any religion, including Islam, to register in order to proselytize others.

    I see two good reasons for this. 1. In trying to be fair to all faiths (not just Christians), the government must include all religions. 2. If the government allows fundamentalist Christians to go door to door proselytizing, then it must allow fundamentalist Muslims to do the same.

    Just as self-serving politicians often get elected by pandering to the Religious Right whether they are religious or not (as in Donald Trump), Radical Muslims could slip in through the same door.

    In the neighborhood where I live, no one can go door to door selling religion or anything else. I like that.

    As for proselytizing on the streets, I don’t care as long as no one stops me to proselytize. But would you object if Muslims were proselytizing on the streets of the U.S.? Most likely, some fundamentalist Christians would attack them.

    But the thing Christians need to remember, in the U.S., whatever they are allowed to do, any and all other religions (and “cults”) may do as well. As well, what Christians are forbidden to do, any and all other religions are forbidden as well. We can thank the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment for that.