OREL, RUSSIA – BAPTIST PERSECUTED
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On 11.08.2014 Pavel N. Pilipchuk, Minister of the Church in the city of Orel, Russia, was fined for evangelism for 20,000 RUR and on 22.12.2014 he was fined for 40,000 RUR for the failure to pay the previous fine.
On 13.04.2015 Pilipchuk was summoned to come to the local court bailiff office. He went there with two fellow adherents. His answers to the questions on whether he considered himself guilty and whether he was going to pay the fine were negative.
He was afterwards ordered to go to the judge. There Pilipchuk explained that he was not going to pay the fine since he did not consider himself guilty. Christian ballads and conversations with people cannot be regarded as rallies, pickets or manifestations in any way, all the more so that, under Article 28 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, “everyone shall be guaranteed the freedom of conscience, the freedom of religion, including the right to profess individually or together with other any religion… to freely choose, possess and disseminate religious and other views…”.
I.A. Maltseva, Peace Justice of Court Circuit No. 2 of the North District of Orel, found that P.N. Pilipchuk failed to pay the fine imposed on him under the court ruling on the case of administrative offense under part 1 of Article 20.25 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation (“Failure to pay the administrative fine within the time limit fixed by the Code”) and sentenced him to an administrative punishment in the form of five-day arrest.
Pilipchuk was taken to a detention room directly from the courtroom.
When pronouncing our Brother Pavel guilty for the administrative offense under part 2 of Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation (“Arranging or holding a public event without notification in accordance with the established procedure…”), neither the first-instance court, nor the other courts did not even take cognizance of the fact that on that day he was not present at the place of the evangelism.
Let us pray so that our Lord gives strength to Brother Pavel and petition for the dismissal of the charges and the termination of further persecution against him so that the Christians of the Russian Federation could freely evangelize in public.
Addresses for the petitions:
Orel Regional Court
Public Prosecutor of Orel
Mayor of Orel