Vladimir Putin just signed what is being called "some of the most restrictive laws in post-Soviet history," reports the Christian Post. The laws would ban Christians (and all other religious groups) from preaching or talking about their faith outside of church. That means no evangelism and no religious activity even at home! Missionaries are banned now, without a work permit, and any disobedience will be punishable by law.
Russian believers are rightly calling the law "impossible" to obey. Why impossible? Because part of the very nature of being a Christian is telling others about Jesus. But instead of cowering in fear or complaining, Russian believers are doing an incredibly powerful thing: gathering together to fast and pray.
"The church is appalled at the news of the new law. About 7,000 evangelical/protestant churches are in fasting and prayer at the moment over the news," Hannu Haukka, president of Great Commission Media Ministries, said. Haukka is asking Christians around the world to join in and pray. "Russia is closing down in an awful way. The new law is in total conflict with the purpose and the task given to the church by the Lord. The law will send the church back into Soviet era Communist persecution."
American Christians are seeing a similar move toward the censorship of their faith--though not yet as drastic as Russians. Examples are Iowa's new law prohibiting pastors from offending gays with the Bible's teaching and allowing men into the women's restrooms at church. Other examples are Christians inability to stand for traditional marriage (like cake makers) and pro-life (like the Washington family that is being forced by law to administer abortion-producing pills at their family pharmacy).
We, like the Russian Christians, should turn to prayer and fasting, instead of fear and complaining. The latter (though very tempting!) will not do anything; but prayer and fasting, as Jesus taught, can tackle even the toughest of problems. Do you agree? Will you post a prayer for American and for Russia in the Comments? Thank you so much!