Russian evangelicals are expressing alarm in light of President Vladmir Putin's signing of a so-called anti-terrorism law last Thursday that imposes harsh restrictions on religious freedom by banning religious gatherings in homes as well as evangelism and missionary activities.
How this law will be applied when it goes into effect on July 20 remains "a very huge question mark," according to Joel Griffith of the Slavic Gospel Association. Other leaders fear the move signals a return to Russia's "shameful past" of Communist persecution of Christians, Radio Free Europe reports.
Griffith told Mission Network News in an interview on Friday that the law "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." more >>
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law last week a measure punishing any kind of religious evangelization outside of churches, which some observers have called one of the most restrictive move in "post-Soviet history."
"This new situation resembles the Soviet Union in 1929. At that time confession of faith was permitted only in church," Hannu Haukka, president of Great Commission Media Ministries, told National Religious Broadcasters, according to Breitbart News. "Practically speaking, we are back in the same situation. These anti-terrorist laws are some of the most restrictive laws in post-Soviet history."
The law, which is supposed to be aimed against the spread of terrorism and extremism, has also been approved by the Russian Parliament's upper chamber. The move blocks the sharing of faith in any place that is not a government-sanctioned house of worship. more >>
Theresa May has been confirmed as the U.K.'s next prime minister after her only rival, fellow Conservative Andrea Leadsom, announced Monday that she was withdrawing from the race.
David Cameron announced shortly after that he would tender his resignation to Queen Elizabeth on Wednesday, making good on his promise to allow another leader to step in and take on the challenge of separating from the European Union, following June's referendum.
May will be the first female prime minister since Margaret Thatcher. The home secretary has mostly chosen to keep her personal life private, but here are five facts about the nation's second female prime minister-in-waiting: more >>
For several years now, Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Lionel Messi of Barcelona have been pitted against each other as they are regarded as the world's two greatest players of their generation. But some critics said that the rivalry between the two football superstars has come to an end after the 2016 European Championship, with Ronaldo edging ahead of Messi.
Cristiano Ronaldo's Triumph in Euro 2016 Final
According to Sports Illustrated, Ronaldo, who played with the Portugal national team on Sunday, got emotional after he succumbed to injury early on in the Euro 2016 final. But his frustrations were later replaced with tears of joy after Portugal managed to beat France. It is the first championship trophy for Portugal after several failed attempts. more >>
Two years had passed since Formula One legend Michael Schumacher got involved in a fatal ski accident, and his family continues to keep his condition private.
Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm claimed that there is no change in the family's decision regarding the legend's recovery from brain injury.
"We just have to accept that the family wants to continue to protect their privacy," Kehm said. "Of course, Michael will not disappear but at the moment the private situation is so difficult that unfortunately no insight can be given. There must be understanding for this." more >>
The United Reformed Church in the U.K. has voted overwhelmingly for allowing gay couples to marry in religious ceremonies in its building, becoming the largest British Christian organization to make that decision.
BBC News reported that Quakers, Unitarians, and other small denominations have already made the move to embrace U.K.'s legalization of same-sex marriage, but with its 60,000 members, the URC is the largest group to join these ranks.