This week, Russian president Vladimir Putin approved a package of anti-terrorism laws that usher in tighter restrictions on missionary activity and evangelism.
Despite prayers and protests from religious leaders and human rights advocates, the Kremlin announced Putin’s approval yesterday. The amendments, including laws against sharing faith in homes, online, or anywhere but recognized church buildings, go into effect July 20.Further, Russians are required "to report religious activity to the authorities, or face punishment him or herself."
Senator Ben Sasse spoke out against the new law.
Edward Snowden has also openly criticized it even though he fears retaliation.
Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the mega First Baptist Church in Dallas, did take time this month to stand up for Roger Ailes (let go from Fox for sexual harassment), but no time to comment about Russian shut down of Christian evangelism.
Jerry Falwell, Jr., President of Liberty University, has time to exult in the possibility that U.S. churches won't lose tax exemption by endorsing political candidates, but zero concern on Russian churches losing the right to openly share about Jesus.
Even Franklin Graham, whose father was the most famous evangelist of the 20th century, is upset about Target's bathroom policy but not a word about Russia prohibiting public and private evangelism outside churches.
Big exception to evangelical lack of interest is Dr. Russell Moore (here too).
It's heartbreaking that this is what major evangelical leaders are becoming under the sway of Donald Trump. Everything is egocentric. As Falwell Jr. has said:
I think the security of the country, the economy, maybe next time [evangelicals] will be looking at social issues more like they did in the past. But I think this time, I heard a very prominent pastor . . . tell me just this week that if we don’t save the country then abortion, traditional marriage, all those social issues are going to be a moot point.Hundreds of thousands of babies will be slaughtered this year in the U.S. and 143 million Russians are stripped of the right to share their beliefs, but only U.S. security and a good economy matter to leading evangelicals. Tragic.