American Pastor Faces Fines, End Of Ministry Under New Russian Law
An American missionary’s bid to spread the Gospel in Russia is facing end times after authorities accused him of violating an anti-religion law that was sneaked into recently passed anti-terror legislation. Christian pastor Donald Ossewaarde, 55, is the first American citizen to be charged under Russia’s new “Yarovaya” anti-terror laws that contain a provision that increases regulation on evangelism. Included is a full ban on any missionary activities in non-religious settings, meaning anyone who preaches outside of a church or designated religious center, faces stiff penalties.
Ossewaarde is due in court in the town of Oryol, 224 miles south of Moscow, after he held religious services in his home and posted advertisements for the service on bulletin boards in nearby housing blocks. The pastor was fined the equivalent of $630 for violating what is also known as the “anti-sharing beliefs amendment.”