Russia Restricts Religious Freedom...Again - 2016-08-23
Vladimir Putin recently signed a law extending a 1997 law, signed by Boris Yeltsin, restricting the activities of religious individuals and groups. Although billed as an anti-terrorist measure, restrictions include the ability to meet in public, to have foreign pastors or missionaries visit, restrictions on publishing, zoning and permit requirements, and other legal intrusions.
These restrictions should also be understood in light of the 2012 "foreign agent" law in Russia. The purpose of that law, ostensibly, was to restrict the activities of foreign agents and foreign money coming in to Russia to alter the political landscape. The actual target, however, was NGOs and human rights organizations. Indeed, it is estimated that one third of NGOs operating in Moscow have shut down since the 2012 law.