Russian Local Authorities Hinder the Building of Evangelical Places of Worship

Photo Credit: Paasikivi

(Evangelical Focus) Several religious communities in Russia are losing their places of worship because of “a complex, sometimes contradictory, and often inconsistently applied legislation,” news service Forum 18 reported.

Furthermore, the local authorities do not permit the construction of new churches and mosques, changing local planning regulations or withdrawing permissions part-way through the process.

“Problems may arise at every stage, from the allocation of land and the securing of planning permission, to raising enough money to finish building before permits expire,” Forum 18 said.

According to Vladimir Ozolin, lawyer of the Moscow-based Slavic Center for Law and Justice, “Protestant communities find it practically impossible to get permission to build churches. Therefore, believers are forced to conduct worship services in residential buildings. But that is not a violation of the law.”

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