Russian President Vladimir Putin recently signed a “controversial anti-terror bill” into law, and the new law is “sparking concerns and fears over its potential impact on missionary work.” The legislation “revises numerous laws” that “could have profound consequences for people living in Russia.” The new provisions, which take effect on July 20, will “crack down on sharing faith online, in homes and in any other location that isn’t a church building recognized by the Russian government.”
I was concerned about how the new law will affect missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I wondered if all the missionaries in Russia would receive transfers out of Russia. The Church released a statement saying, “The church recognizes a new law will take effect in Russia on July 20, 2016, that will have an impact on missionary work…. The church will honor, sustain and obey the law. Missionaries will remain in Russia and will work within the requirements of these changes. The church will further study and analyze the law and its impact as it goes into effect.”
Even though the new law in Russia may complicate the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Russia in the near future, I believe that the Lord will eventually bring good out of the law. I believe the church in Russia will continue to grow.