The Cost of Discipleship in Russia PDF Print E-mail

 

Volume 3 1989

When a Christian is fined for attending a worship service, his personal details (name, address, nature and place of employment etc.) are taken down and subsequently notice of the amount payable arrives, sometimes by post.

The Christian then has a certain amount of time within which to pay the fine. Failure to pay within this limit may lead to the imposition of a court order to dock the amount from the offender’s wages or the confiscation of some personal possession in lieu of payment.

News of fines — lists of unknown people in far-away places — do not seem to represent much hardship, but regular 50 or 60 ruble fines (Rand equivalent to R200-R240) take their toll on families and churches.

FOR A HOUSE-WARMING:

  • Members of the registered church in Kuzinovichy (Zhitomir district, Loginsky region) were meeting in the Pavienkos’ home for a house-warming party. A Christian belonging to an unregistered fellowship from the village of Kremno was also there. He was accused of leading a service and for this was fined by an administrative commission.

FOR A FUNERAL:

  • In February 1988, a Christian lady Matsyupa was fined 50 rubles for conducting a funeral in Kutsyaki, a Ukrainian village in the Cherkessk oblast.

FOR REGULAR CHURCH SERVICES:

  • Christians in Kovel are being fined for each meeting they attend.

  • In Spring, 1988, most church services in Altai region were disrupted.

FOR PREACHING:

  • Dron, a Moldavian Christian, was fined. The notice of the fine read: “On 3 April 1988 Dron preached without the consent of the local authorities.”

“The deceased’s fine must be paid!”

  • Early in 1988, Anna Venets from Kivertsy, was fined because a Christian service was held in her home. Soon after this event she died suddenly and tragically. Despite the fact that the authorities were aware of Anna’s death, a notice of the fine was brought to the house and the relatives were told: “We know that she’s not alive but the fine must be paid!”

 
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