Re-education of Russian pastors likely

As of October 3 Russian authorities will verify the formation of pastors for faith communities, especially those who have studied abroad.

The verification will be of the “religious formation received” by servants of the cult of all religions.

The newly renewed Duma will have the power to approve or not “the activity of servants of worship and religious personnel who lead celebrations and rituals, in the realization of missionary tasks or teaching on the territory of the Federation”.

If the formation received is deemed “unsatisfactory,” the newly consecrated person will be required to participate in special “additional education courses in specially licensed institutions of study whose programs have received accreditation in accordance with state standards.”

Thousands of Protestant communities, in particular, are at risk, where religious education is largely free and there is no clear distinction between clergy and laity, let alone between “patriotic” or international education in the theological-spiritual field. Continue reading

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