Posted by: becketfund | March 26, 2008

Russia: Methodist Congregation Dissolved for Running a Sunday School

SMOLENSK – A regional court in Smolensk, Russia, has dissolved a local United Methodist congregation after officials discovered that the church ran a Sunday school, Forum 18 reports on March 26.  Local government officials began an investigation into the activities of the church in late January, when the auxiliary Orthodox bishop of Smolensk contacted them to file a complaint about the church’s activities.  A court decided on March 24 that the congregation had broken the law by engaging in “educational activity…without a corresponding license”.  The loss of legal status means that the congregation can no longer maintain any sort of public identity as a religious organization.

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