Thursday, August 17, 2017

Censoring Biblical Young Earth Creationism [article from CMI]

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Google’s censorship will affect us all

by Paul Price
Published: 18 August 2017 (GMT+10)
en.wikipedia.orgSundar-Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai


URL: http://creation.com/google-censoring-results

As no doubt all who read this article are already aware, Google is the world’s largest and most successful internet conglomerate, built originally around a web-search tool. After succeeding in producing the most-used search engine for the internet, Google has continued to expand into more and more areas. Google is now a powerful monopoly, controlling massive shares of all the internet’s most-used and most important features. For example, here are some of the latest figures I found for Google’s market share:

    Desktop Computer Internet Searches: 79.88%1
    Webmail Email: 60% (#2 overall in email clients second to Apple iPhone)2
    YouTube (owned by Google): 78.8%3
 

When you stop to consider what most people use the internet for, you will notice that Google has a massive share in all three of the top internet features: searching, emailing, and watching videos. In fact, Google controls over three-fourths of both searches and videos, and is second only to Apple in terms of the number of people using their email services. What this all means is that whatever policies Google decides to adopt basically govern the entire direction of the world online. This is a massive amount of power to be wielded by any one organization!

(......................)

The Creation Connection

As biblical creationists, all this should be deeply troubling. Our position (denying Darwinism and believing the Bible) is one that the mainstream establishment considers to be ‘fringe’ and ‘extremist’. Note the language used on Google’s own blog concerning the recent changes to their search algorithms:

    Ranking changes: We combine hundreds of signals to determine which results we show for a given query—from the freshness of the content, to the number of times your search queries appear on the page. We’ve adjusted our signals to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content, so that issues similar to the Holocaust denial results that we saw back in December are less likely to appear.9

This amounts to an open admission of censorship by Google in their search results algorithms! How, exactly, will it be determined which websites are “authoritative” and which sites are “low-quality”? Would they, for example, consider creationist sites like our own to be “low-quality”? I think they almost certainly would. In the past, for example, Google has featured an homage to human evolution in their famous homepage ‘doodle’.10    This means we can no longer depend on people being able to search for our articles through the world’s most-used search engine
......"


The integral article at the URL:
http://creation.com/google-censoring-results
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

They will track you down by IP [article]

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[note: against sodomy, pornography and pedophilia and fornication plus related sins the necessity of an authoritative strong arm of the government is not questionable. It is the use that the Yarovaya law does of the alibi of the war on the moral degeneracy and crimes and terrorism in general in order to justify the war on the Gospel - and this for the sake of the Orthodox state-church,  to be devilish. Beside this, Yarovaya censorship with its absurd requests, is transforming many anti-Christian, anti-Biblical and Christian haters' groups in "heroes" of the Putin's oppression: think only to the Sodomite Front (LGBT) in Russia, in search of 'martyrs' to use them as a banner for their anti-Christian persecution.]

 14:58 / 14.08.2017 To russian version
0 comments


They will track you down by IP

By CRIME RUSSIA
url: https://en.crimerussia.com/gromkie-dela/they-will-track-you-down-by-ip/


The Ministry of Communications and Mass Media and security officials waive Article 23 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation before our very eyes. Where is this going?

The Ministry of Communications and Mass Media has prepared a resolution with a list of Internet users’ details, which the ‘information dissemination organizers’ (hereinafter – IDO) should store for a year in accordance with the Yarovaya law and which they will be obliged to submit to law enforcement authorities. The list is impressive; it includes user login, date of birth, real name and full passport details, address, list of languages spoken by the user, and even the list of his relatives. The Yarovaya package is to enter into force on July 1, 2018.

Thus, the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media and siloviki supervising this law directly waive Article 23 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which protects the secrecy of correspondence and makes exceptions only for cases where law enforcement agencies have a court order. The fact that Russian social media cooperate with intelligence agencies and are transparent to them is no news, but now everything will be greatly simplified — any excuse is enough to let a secret service representative automatically get all your personal information.

FOR THE RECORD

List of information the state wants to receive from instant messengers and social networks:

    full name

    user name

    date of birth and other passport details

    contact details: telephone, IP, email

    location

    list of languages spoken by the user

    list of relatives

    social circle

    files transmitted online

    audio and video recording of conversations

    information on internet payments


In this context, the senseless (at first glance) efforts of Roskomnadzor to include large social networks and instant messengers in the IDO register – it currently includes 89 items – become clear. The requirements for total surveillance of users in the interests of special services, formulated by the Ministry of Communications, do not apply to the entire Internet, but only to the companies officially included in the register. Therefore, you first enter Telegram in the register, and then require it to provide users’ passport details.

A similar tragicomic story currently surrounds the world's largest instant messenger Snapchat, targeted at adolescents. Roskomnadzor had demanded Snapchat to register in the IDO registry, but the messenger ignored the Russian officials. Then, Roskomnadzor asked to clarify whether they had the correct contact information of Snapchat owners. The company confirmed that the details were correct, and Roskomnadzor immediately published a release on the great victory, i.e. the messenger placement on the registry. The law on the prohibition of VPNs, which do not cooperate with the Russian authorities, is also appropriate.

But there will not be a total disaster. The number of criminal cases over extremism will increase, there will be cases of prosecution of opposition for information transmitted in the network. At the same time, such large Western players as Facebook will not comply with the demands of the Russian authorities, as they already do (Law on the storage of personal data on the territory of the Russian Federation). Some sites will be blocked, as it happened with LinkedIn and Zello, while others, like Wikipedia and Telegram, will be threatened with blocking.

Citizens willing to continue to use the free Internet will find a way to do this – although it is unlikely to be cheap or simple.

The cybernetic civil war unleashed by Russian officials will become tougher. At the same time, for some IT companies, the fight against Russian censorship will become a new market niche.

The following two things are, perhaps, are the worst in the current situation.

First, the Russian social networks leaving their users out to dry with the Big Brother will gradually lose market – in such a way, the officials will once again ‘support’ the domestic producer. Second, the interests of privacy and the human dignity of Russian citizens online will best be protected by American companies, not Russian, which is a shame.

Tags: Moscow Roskomnadzor

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017
RUSSIA: One year of "anti-missionary" punishments [article]
http://spirithismouth.blogspot.it/2017/08/russia-one-year-of-anti-missionary.html
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Friday, August 11, 2017

An Unusual Creation Trip [Biblical Creationism in the Philippines]

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From:
 CREATION ASTRONOMY
 
".........I returned recently from a two-week speaking trip to the Philippines. It was notable for several reasons:
  1. During my several days on the island of Mindanao, I had a heavily-armed escort. The young men shown above accompanied me everywhere. (They were assigned to me for protection against the jihadists operating nearby.)
  2. It was an intense trip, with an average of over three hours of speaking time per day. (The longest day was 8.5 hours long, with seven hours of actual speaking.)
  3. I had the privilege of speaking (on astronomy and biology) to several hundred students at a secular university........."
..............Continue reading at:
31 Jul 2017
By spike Posted in News Permalink
An Unusual Creation Trip

http://www.creationastronomy.com/an-unusual-creation-trip/
------------------------------------

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

RUSSIA: One year of "anti-missionary" punishments [article]

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8 August 2017

RUSSIA: One year of "anti-missionary" punishments

http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2305

By Victoria Arnold, Forum 18
In the first year of "anti-missionary" punishments, Forum 18 found 181 cases under Administrative Code Article 5.26, Parts 3, 4 and 5. Of these 133 resulted in initial convictions (130 fines). In 11 cases religious literature was confiscated. Five foreigners were ordered deported (one overturned on appeal).
Prosecutions under Russia's "anti-missionary" legal changes have gathered pace in the year since they came into force on 20 July 2016, with an average of six cases a week reaching court between April and June 2017, Forum 18 has found.

Activities as diverse as holding prayer meetings in homes, posting worship times on a religious community's website, and giving a lecture on yoga have all been interpreted by police and prosecutors as "missionary activity", thanks to the broad definition now enshrined in the Religion Law. Despite a clear predominance of prosecutions brought against those who see their faith as requiring them to publicly share their beliefs, such as Protestants and Jehovah's Witnesses, people from at least 15 different religious traditions have faced charges.

Forum 18 found 181 cases brought against 129 individuals and 52 religious communities under the July 2016 "anti-missionary" legal changes between 20 July 2016 and 20 July 2017. Of these, 133 resulted in initial convictions, with 130 fines being imposed. Of the foreigners prosecuted, 5 were ordered deported (though one of these had the deportation order overturned on appeal). More than half the regions in Russia have seen at least one prosecution (see below).

The cases led to 11 religious communities having religious literature confiscated. In three of these cases, judges illegally ordered the religious literature destroyed, although two of these rulings were subsequently overturned (see below).

(For a full listing of known cases - based on court decisions and court records seen by Forum 18 - see forthcoming F18News article.)

Russia has also imposed these punishments in Crimea, which it occupied in March 2014. Forum 18 found 27 administrative cases in the year of the "anti-missionary" punishments there, resulting in fines in 16 of the cases so far (see F18News 24 July 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2299).

Confusion remains over what exactly constitutes "missionary activity" and under what circumstances individual believers may share their faith with others.

"This law is impossible either to understand or to implement," Moscow-based lawyer Mikhail Frolov, who has acted for several Hare Krishna defendants, told Forum 18 on 1 August. "Believers don't understand what is permitted and what is forbidden. It is possible to sentence people under this for any religious activity".

Background

On 6 July 2016, President Vladimir Putin signed amendments to the Religion Law imposing harsh restrictions on the sharing of beliefs, including on where and by whom they may be shared. There were widespread Russian protests against the changes, which ban, among other things, broadly and imprecisely defined "missionary activity" by anyone without written permission from an officially recognised religious association, and by religious organisations not using their full legal names. The changes also ban anyone who is a former member of an allegedly "extremist" religious organisation from carrying out so-called "missionary activity", and allow wide scope for arbitrary official actions. The amendments were introduced as part of an "anti-terrorism" package proposed by United Russia Duma deputy Irina Yarovaya and Senator Viktor Ozerov (see Forum 18's general Russia religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2246).

There was an initial lack of consensus among judges over whether the absence of written authorisation from a religious organisation or group is itself evidence of an offence or proof of innocence (see Forum 18's general Russia religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2246).

It now appears, however, that judges are increasingly seeing a lack of formal written authorisation (which should include evidence of an organisation's registration or a group's notification of its existence) as grounds for conviction.

A 2015 amendment to the Religion Law, for the first time and against international human rights law, required all unregistered religious groups to notify the authorities of their existence and activities. This includes providing names and addresses of all their members, and addresses where any meeting takes place. A draft law making failure to do this a punishable administrative offence has been accepted at committee level in the State Duma and will be considered at a first reading in September 2017 (see Forum 18's general Russia religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2246).

Although no explicit punishment currently exists for not submitting this notification (usually to local branches of the Justice Ministry), Forum 18's analysis of prosecutions under Administrative Code Article 5.26, Parts 4 and 5, shows that failure to do is frequently taken as evidence of unlawful "missionary activity".

Punishments

Individuals and legal entities who violate any of the July 2016 restrictions and requirements are subject to punishment under Administrative Code Article 5.26, Parts 3 ("Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label"), 4 ("Russians conducting missionary activity"), or 5 ("Foreigners conducting missionary activity"). These were all signed into law at the same time (see Forum 18's general Russia religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2246).

Under Part 4 ("Russians conducting missionary activity"), Russian citizens are liable for a fine of 5,000 to 50,000 Roubles. For organisations (legal entities), the fine stands at 100,000 to 1 million Roubles. Religious groups, while they may share beliefs in limited circumstances, are not legal entities – their members would therefore be subject to prosecution as individuals.

Foreigners may be fined 30,000 to 50,000 Roubles for the same offence under Part 5 ("Foreigners conducting missionary activity"), with the possibility of expulsion from Russia.

Part 3 punishments are a fine of 30,000 to 50,000 Roubles and possible confiscation of any materials.

A fine of 50,000 Roubles (about 6,600 Norwegian Kroner, 710 Euros or 835 US Dollars) represents about six weeks' average wages for those in work or 15 weeks' average state retirement pension.

How do cases begin?

Although in some cases it is not possible to ascertain from verdicts how an alleged offence came to be detected, many written decisions indicate that charges were brought after either a systematic inspection by police or prosecutor's office officials, or a tip-off from a member of the public. In several cases, monitoring of internet activities by the FSB or anti-extremism investigators has provided the basis for charges.

Court records suggest that most prosecutions move fairly quickly through first instance courts, with hearings taking place shortly after cases are lodged, but that appeals (which must be submitted ten days after a verdict is issued) may take months to be concluded.

2016-2017 figures

In an analysis of available court records, Forum 18 has found a total of 181 prosecutions brought to trial under Article 5.26, Parts 3, 4, and 5 between 20 July 2016 and 20 July 2017. It is unknown how many more individuals and organisations have faced charges, as cases against Russian citizens and legal entities (which comprise the vast majority) are heard in magistrates' courts, of which there are more than 7,000 across the country.

The 181 cases recorded by Forum 18 involved 129 individuals and 52 religious organisations (some of them prosecuted more than once for different incidents). Thirty women and 94 men are known to have been charged, as well as five people whose gender is unknown.

Prosecution rates for all Parts steadily increased throughout late 2016 and early 2017 (most markedly for Part 4 "Russians conducting missionary activity"), with a surge in prosecutions reaching court in March and April 2017.

There was a significant decline in prosecutions in late 2016 under Article 20.2 (Parts 1, 2, and 5) ("Violation of the established procedure for organising or conducting a gathering, meeting, demonstration, procession or picket"), Forum 18 notes (see F18News 5 July 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2293).

Alexander Verkhovsky, Director of the Moscow-based SOVA Center for Information and Analysis, attributes the decline in Article 20.2 prosecutions of religious believers "partly" to the "anti-missionary" legal changes. "Often, the police simply choose the law [under which to prosecute] at random", Verkhovsky commented to Forum 18 on 4 July, "and the emergence of options leads to a redistribution."

The full effect on "anti-missionary" prosecutions of the Supreme Court's decision to liquidate all Jehovah's Witnesses' organisations and ban their activities (which entered full legal force on 17 July 2017) has yet to be seen (see F18News 18 July 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2297). It could mean a decrease in prosecutions as liquidated communities have ceased to meet and individuals now face criminal charges if found engaging in any Jehovah's Witness activity, but it also opens up the possibility of prosecution under Article 5.26 Parts 4 and 5 specifically for proselytising on behalf of a liquidated extremist organisation.

Between 20 July 2016 and 20 July 2017, there were: 52 prosecutions (42 of communities, 10 of community leaders) under Part 3 ("Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label"); 114 prosecutions (10 of organisations, 104 of individuals) under Part 4 ("Russians conducting missionary activity"); and 15 prosecutions under Part 5 ("Foreigners conducting missionary activity").

First instance courts convicted a total of 133 defendants and acquitted only 29. Two cases under Part 4 ("Russians conducting missionary activity") were closed because the statute of limitations had expired, and another two for unknown reasons. Eleven cases were returned by judges to police or prosecutors for the correction of technical errors and were not resubmitted. The outcomes of four prosecutions remain unknown.

Of those convicted, 130 received fines. For Russians, these ranged from 5,000 Roubles, the minimum penalty for individuals under Part 4 ("Russians conducting missionary activity") and the most common punishment up to 40,000 Roubles. Organisations were fined between 30,000 Roubles (the minimum under Part 3 "Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label") and 100,000 Roubles (the minimum under Part 4).

An additional punishment under Part 3 ("Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label") is the confiscation of religious literature or other items found not to be labelled with an organisation's full legal name – this took place in 11 cases, including three in which judges illegally ordered the materials in question to be destroyed.

In Vladivostok on 20 December 2016, Lenin District Magistrate's Court No. 4 ruled that Bibles and other materials confiscated from the local Salvation Army branch should be destroyed after they were found not to show the organisation's full official name. After the case attracted considerable media interest and disapproval from many in Russia, including the Moscow Patriarchate, an appeal court overturned this order on request of prosecutors.

A similar punishment was imposed in relation to materials belonging to Nizhny Tagil Evangelical Christian Church (see F18News 1 March 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2261). It came into force on 7 July 2017 after the church's supervisory appeal was unsuccessful.

When Noyabrsk Magistrate's Court No. 1 (Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District) found Hare Krishna devotee Andrei Sysolyatin guilty under Article 5.26 Part 4 ("Russians conducting missionary activity") of distributing religious literature in the street, Judge Yelena Pryadko ordered that his copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu sacred text, four copies of "The Vedas: Mysteries from the East", and one copy of "One More Chance" should be confiscated and destroyed (see F18News 1 March 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2261). Sysolyatin's appeal at Noyabrsk City Court on 29 March 2017 was successful, however, and both the 9 January destruction order and the 5,000 Rouble fine were overturned.

Two communities charged under Part 3 ("Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label"). These were unrelated cases, but were tried by the same judge in Chelyabinsk Region. Both communities were given warnings rather than fines. A Presbyterian seminary in Vladivostok escaped punishment altogether when the judge decided that the alleged offence (also Part 3) was "insignificant".

Foreign citizens received fines of up to 50,000 Roubles, and in five cases were ordered to be deported from Russia (see F18News 1 March 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2261). This was overturned on appeal in one instance. Among the fifteen individuals prosecuted under Part 5 ("Foreigners conducting missionary activity") were: three Ukrainians, two Ghanaians, two Americans, two South Koreans, one Indian, one citizen of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one Nigerian, one stateless person, and two people whose nationality is unknown. All four Africans were students who entered Russia in order to attend Russian universities.

Deportations

Indian Protestant Pastor Victor-Immanuel Mani became the first foreigner to be ordered deported on 20 December 2016, when Judge Mansur Saitgareyev of Naberezhniye Chelny City Court found him guilty of advertising religious gatherings on social media and allegedly giving religious literature to a non-member of his church. He was also fined 30,000 Roubles (see F18News 1 March 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2261).

Despite his having lived legally in Russia for several years, married a Russian citizen, and had a Russian-born child, Mani was obliged to leave the country after his appeal to the Supreme Court of Tatarstan on 25 January 2017 was unsuccessful. He told Forum 18 that he would continue to attempt to have the ruling overturned.

Judge Atsamaz Gagiyev of Soviet District Court in Vladikavkaz fined South Korean citizens Eun Chul Sin and Zh. Yu. Ong 30,000 Roubles each on 1 July 2017 and ordered them to leave the country. The pair, both pastors of the Good News Evangelical church, were charged with carrying out unspecified "missionary activity" on the premises of an unregistered church in Vladikavkaz which had not notified the authorities of its existence as a religious group. Because they already had plane tickets out of Russia, the judge agreed not to have them detained or forcibly deported.

Ghanaian student Issa Salifu was ordered forcibly deported and taken to a police detention centre for foreign citizens on 2 June 2017 after October District Court in Ufa found him guilty of performing "missionary activity" without having submitted notification of the creation of a religious group. Salifu had arranged gatherings of fellow African Protestants for "collective worship and dissemination of beliefs" in a hotel conference hall and on church premises, including with members of other religious groups – according to the written verdict, "that is, carried out missionary activity". Salifu appealed to the Supreme Court of Bashkortostan on 19 June 2017 and managed to have the deportation ruling rescinded so that he could finish his studies. Judge Zaytuna Abzemilova ordered that he should be immediately released from the detention centre, but upheld his fine of 30,000 Roubles.

Judge Inna Bulanova of Frunze District Court, Vladivostok, ruled on 3 April 2017 that A.V. Rudenko (religious affiliation and nationality unknown) should be forcibly deported, as he had already been convicted of breaking migration law. He was found guilty of "positioning himself as the priest of a religious association not registered in the Russian Federation" and "publicly…disseminating information about his beliefs with the aim of involving new members in the association, including underage children", and also received a fine of 30,000 Roubles.

Appeals largely unsuccessful

Defendants have submitted appeals in 92 cases, nine of which have not yet been heard. Of the rest, only 14 were successful, while 55 were unsuccessful and four were rejected without consideration by the court. Three defendants have been sent for retrial – one was acquitted and one reconvicted, while the third case was closed because the statute of limitations had expired. Sentences were reduced in another two cases, although the convictions were upheld. The outcome of five appeals is unknown.

Police and prosecutors also appealed against 12 acquittals, three returns of cases for technical reasons, and the single instance of a judge imposing no sentence because of the "insignificance" of the offence – all of these attempts were unsuccessful. In one case, prosecutors successfully requested on appeal that a destruction order on confiscated Bibles lifted after a widespread outcry from religious figures across Russia.

Prosecutions have involved individuals or organisations belonging to the following religious communities: Protestant churches, including Pentecostals – 56; Jehovah's Witnesses – 40; all Baptists (Baptist Union, Council of Churches, and independent/unknown) – 26; Society for Krishna Consciousness (Hare Krishna devotees) – 12; Muslims – 9; people associated with the Bible distribution organisation the Gideons – 6 (all in the same case); Jews (Federation of Jewish Communities and a Kabbalah teacher) – 3; Buddhists – 2; Seventh-day Adventists – 3; unknown Christians – 2; New Apostolic Church – 1; Salvation Army – 1; Presbyterian Church – 1; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) – 1; Ukrainian Reformed Orthodox Church – 1; and Russian Orthodox Church Abroad – 1. Two others – a village elder charged in connection with a Protestant case, and the leader of a group interested in ancient Slavic culture, accused of propagating pagan beliefs on social media – were also brought to court. The religious affiliation of 11 individuals is unknown. No individuals or communities associated with the Moscow Patriarchate appear to have been prosecuted.

Forty-eight out of 83 federal subjects of the Russian Federation saw at least one prosecution (not counting Crimea and Sevastopol). The highest figures were found in Sverdlovsk Region (13 prosecutions), Zabaikalsk Region (12), the Republic of Bashkortostan (12), Nizhny Novgorod Region (8), Krasnoyarsk Region (8), Chelyabinsk Region (7), Oryol Region (7), Tver Region (6), Kaliningrad Region (6), and the Republic of Mordovia (6). Multiple prosecutions often arise from a single incident (for example, a group of Baptists or Jehovah's Witnesses offering literature in the same place on the same day) or a single law enforcement investigation.

In the Republic of Mordovia, for example, police appear to have made a concerted effort to pinpoint Muslim organisations not displaying their full official names, charging six mosque communities under Article 5.26 Part 3 ("Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label") with failing to have proper signage on their buildings. Romodanovo District Magistrate's Court, however, acquitted the Tauba, Ramazan, Dzhuma, Al-Radzhab, and Al-Furkan communities (all in the 90 per cent Muslim Tatar village of Belozyorye) on the grounds that they did have signs bearing their full official names on their interior walls, something the police "ignored or did not check", according to the written verdicts. The Muslim community of Aksyonovo village, charged with the same offence, was also acquitted at Lyambir District Magistrate's Court No. 1. Police appeals in all six cases were unsuccessful.

Possible to share beliefs as private individuals?

The most frequent grounds for prosecution under Parts 4 and 5 is the defendant's apparent lack of documents authorising them to engage in "missionary activity" on behalf of a particular organisation or group. Such authorisation, according to the July 2016 amendment to the Religion Law, should be obtained from an organisation's governing body or a general meeting of a religious group, and should include evidence of an organisation's registration or a group's official notification to authorities of its creation.

Defendants often argue that they do not have such documents because they are exercising their constitutional right as individuals to share their own beliefs, but it appears that police, prosecutors, and judges are increasingly seeing individual religious expression as tied, by definition, to formally constituted and officially recognised groups and organisations, thus confining the freedom of religion and belief more and more to an officially regulated and monitored sphere.

Inconsistent judgements

Prosecutions for exercising freedom of religion or belief are also frequent under Administrative Code Article 20.29 ("Production or mass distribution of extremist materials") (see Forum 18's "extremism" Russia religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2215). Prosecutions for possessing allegedly "extremist" religious literature rose between 2015 and 2016 (see F18News 19 June 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2287). Prosecutions have also been frequent under Administrative Code Article 20.2 ("Violation of the established procedure for organising or conducting a gathering, meeting, demonstration, procession or picket") (see Forum 18's general Russia religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2246). But prosecutions under Article 20.2 fell in 2016, as officials began bringing prosecutions with the far higher possible penalties under the quot;anti-missionaryquot; Article 5.26 instead (see F18News 5 July 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=22937).

In prosecutions under both these Administrative Code articles their vague language often leads judges to reach differing conclusions in very similar cases.

On 26 May, for instance, taxi driver D.Kh. Sharafeyev (charged under Article 5.26 Part 4 "Russians conducting missionary activity") was acquitted of carrying out "missionary activity" without authorisation from a religious organisation or group. He admitted to Nizhnekamsk Magistrate's Court No. 8 that he had given a Tatar-language leaflet from the New Life Evangelical Church to one of his passengers, but argued that he had done this on his own behalf and not as a representative of the church. His lawyer Konstantin Andreyev pointed out that Sharafeyev had not invited the man to any services and that the leaflet contained only "general Christian content", not specific to any particular organisation.

The judge agreed that Sharafeyev had been acting as a private individual and decided that there was insufficient evidence that he had intended to involve his passenger in any religious association. A police appeal at the Supreme Court of Tatarstan was unsuccessful on 27 July 2017.

Baptist shopkeeper Ivan Manakov, meanwhile, was charged with the similar offence of offering religious literature for free at his stall inside a hypermarket in the Stavropol Region town of Essentuki, without written authorisation from the Baptist Union church from which he had obtained the material. He was found guilty on 20 March 2017 at Essentuki Magistrate's Court No. 4 and fined 5,000 Roubles – despite his argument that he had done this on his own initiative and had not been representing the church.

Lack of notification also a problem

Another common reason behind the prosecution of individuals is an alleged failure to submit notification of the existence of a religious group, even if the defendant is not in fact a member of any religious group. This has been a particular problem for both independent Baptists and Council of Churches Baptists. The latter refuse on principle to seek any kind of state registration, and have argued publicly against the restrictions imposed by the introduction of the group notification requirement in 2015.

Formal membership of a religious association (or the lack of it) appears to be key to many prosecutions under Parts 4 and 5, rather than religious identification. In two Part 4 ("Russians conducting missionary activity") cases in Bryansk Region, Muslims were fined for leading Friday prayers (namaz) "in the presence of people who were not members of a religious association", when they themselves were "not the imam of a mosque [and] not officially part of a religious organisation" and had not notified the local Justice Ministry of the creation of a religious group. Despite the fact that everyone in attendance was also Muslim, this was interpreted as "missionary activity" by both police and judges.

Judge Konstantin Samantsov of Pochep District Magistrate's Court No. 48 fined qualified imam Islam Gadzhiyev 5,000 Roubles on 14 March 2017 for holding prayers in a utility room at a sawmill. At the same court on 25 April 2017, Judge Raisa Koroteleva found Kifoyatullo Mirzoyev guilty of leading prayers at an immigration detention centre and also fined him 5,000 Roubles.

Despite the fact that the (actual or hypothetical) presence of "non-members" is often key to securing a guilty verdict, neither the "anti-missionary" changes themselves nor any subsequent court ruling has offered any guidance on how "members" of a religious association may be defined or identified.

Ill-defined offences

The July 2016 anti-missionary legal changes and the associated additions to Administrative Code Article 5.26 are extremely vaguely worded (see Forum 18's general Russia religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2246). This means that law enforcement agencies can and frequently do interpret almost anything as subject to punishment (see eg. F18News 20 December 2016 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2242).

Under Part 3 ("Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label"), this has included having a website, keeping books in a library, and even a religious organisation's mere existence, if its full official name is not displayed. In many cases under Part 3, these "activities" have nothing to do with even loosely defined "missionary activity".

To avoid potential punishment, communities and individuals must now take particular care over what information they share in the public sphere about their beliefs and even their most mundane activities, and what form this takes.

After Aleksei "Svetozar" Ryzhkov was fined 10,000 Roubles for posting about pagan beliefs on VKontakte, the group which he runs – "Pokon Roda", which is interested in ancient Slavic culture and traditions – edited its information page on the social network, noting that this had been done "in accordance with the Yarovaya law".

Other individuals convicted under Part 4 ("Russians conducting missionary activity"), particularly those whose cases were based on online activity, have deleted social media posts and even posted disclaimers stating that nothing they write or share is intended as "missionary activity". (END)

For more background see Forum 18's surveys of the general state of freedom of religion and belief in Russia at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=2246, and of the dramatic decline in this freedom related to Russia's Extremism Law at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=2215.

A personal commentary by Alexander Verkhovsky, Director of the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis http://www.sova-center.ru, about the systemic problems of Russian anti-extremism legislation, is at F18News 19 July 2010 http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1468.

A personal commentary by Irina Budkina, Editor of the http://www.samstar.ucoz.ru Old Believer website, about continuing denial of equality to Russia's religious minorities, is at F18News 26 May 2005 http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=570.

More reports on freedom of thought, conscience and belief in Russia can be found at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?query=&religion=all&country=10.

A compilation of Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) freedom of religion or belief commitments can be found at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1351.

A printer-friendly map of Russia is available at http://nationalgeographic.org/education/mapping/outline-map/?map=Russia.

Twitter: @Forum_18

Follow us on Facebook: @Forum18NewsService

All Forum 18 material may be referred to, quoted from, or republished in full, if Forum 18 <www.forum18.org> is credited as the source.
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Friday, July 14, 2017
Yarovaya law's cherry picking, bring a great danger of Judgement on its supporters
http://spirithismouth.blogspot.it/2017/07/yarovaya-lawis-cherry-picking-bring.html
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Friday, July 14, 2017

Yarovaya law's cherry picking, bring a great danger of Judgement on its supporters

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Remember that the Gospel has been considered "hate speech" in Western world cause his stance against the sin of  homosexuality and the truth of Jesus the ONLY way to the Father in heaven:

http://spirithismouth.blogspot.it/2017/07/rowdy-crowd-in-england-gets-preachers.html

In Russia the Gospel can offend many powerful people who, at the opposite of the Western world, could not dare to attack the Gospel directly, but the ones spreading it, blaming them for "misuse", creating "troubles", etc.
For the Christians this is not a news. Already the Roman Empire created its fake Christ "Mithra", because the follower of the only and true Jesus refused to bow down to the emperor. In Russia they simply made a law which, giving power to the state even to shut the mouth of the ones who freely talk of the Gospel, implicitly declares that  to support the political power in the Kremlin and  the Russian Orthodox church as the only entity in Russia with the right to interpret the Scripture, is "spreading the Gospel".
It is evident the ideological and Nicoloitane background of the legislator and backer of the law. In the hurry to try to use the Gospel as a pamphlet supporting the group of power ruling today Russia,  they cherry-picked only the verses fitted for this not-so-much Christian agenda. From Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2:13 and following verses where the submission to the power of the state is affirmed as a feature of the born again in Christ, the promoters of Yarovaya's law believe to use the Gospel for their personal goal of political pride. But if you are not in Christ, you cannot partake in His Gospel. Yarovaya law's legilators and supporters forgot the little grain of salt  in their law, whose lack shows that their true intentions is not the spreading the Gospel, but reading it with greedy eyes and with a pride heart:


For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.- Matthew, 7:2 KJV
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Russian lawmakers propose fake news law

Two Russian lawmakers from State Duma majority party United Russia have proposed a bill for the publishing of “false information” on social media to become a criminal offence, punishable by hefty fines.
If passed, the law would see individuals found to have violated the law face a fine of up to 5 million rubles ($83,000) and large corporations face a maximum penalty of 50 million rubles ($830,000), according to a report published yesterday by RBC. Referencing an explanatory note to the proposal, the news outlet cites the lawmakers' claim that they had taken their lead from Germany, where the similar Network Enforcement Act was passed last month.
One of the law's authors, Deputy Sergey Boyarsky, took to Twitter to assure critics that the law would target social media companies rather than individual users, stating that it would be “up to the organisers of information dissemination to delete illegal information”.

https://www.calvertjournal.com/news/show/8593/russian-lawmakers-propose-fake-news-law 

Social Networking Sites to Remove Incendiary Comments or Face Hefty Fines Under New Russian Legal Proposals

A bill has been submitted to the Russian parliament which would require social networks and messenger services to remove defamatory statements or comments deemed to promote “war or national, racial and religious strife.”
If passed, the law would come into force on January 1, 2018 and would compel social networking sites to remove incendiary comments within 24 hours of receiving a complaint or face a fine of 30 to 50 million roubles ($495,000 to $825,000).
The draft bill, submitted by members of the ruling United Russia party, also stipulates that all social networks and messaging services with over 2 million registered users in Russia open a representative office in the country.
In recent years the Russian parliament has passed a number of restrictions on social media and online publishers including a 2016 law commonly referred to as “Yarovaya law” (named after one of its authors) which requires telecommunications and internet companies to retain copies of all content and communications for six months, including text messages, voice, data and images.
Freedom of expression advocates have described these raft of laws as “draconian” attempts to limit free speech online.
Dozens of Russians are believed to have been arrested and even imprisoned for their posts on social media. 

https://codastory.com/disinformation-crisis/news/example-social-networking-sites-to-remove-incendiary-comments-or-face-hefty-fines-under-new-russian-legal-proposals-item01

 Last nail in coffin of Russian Internet freedom

This statement was originally published on rsf.org on 10 July 2017.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the Duma to reject two bills that have been approved on first reading and, if adopted, would eliminate much of what remains of Internet freedom in Russia. They would ban software for bypassing the blocking of websites, censor search engines and bring messaging apps under control.

No less a person than Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), asked legislators to speed passage of the two bills. And they listened. The first reading of both bills was completed in record time and their adoption on second reading is imminent.

"If they take effect, these bills will drive one of the last nails into the coffin of Internet freedom in Russia," said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF's Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.

"By seeking to perfect Russia's mechanisms of digital censorship and surveillance, these bills trample on the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. We call on the Duma to reject them on second reading."


https://www.ifex.org/russia/2017/07/10/internet-freedom-suppressed/
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Rowdy Crowd in England Gets Preachers Arrested [article Chick Publications]

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As we approach the end of the Times we assist to an increasing hatred towards the Christians. The Preaching of the Gospel is the target #1 of Satan, and he uses the “mob-ocracy”. Mob-ocracy is the natural 'evolution' of the domocracy after having being fully fecundated by the Evolutionism. It consists in the "law of the strongest". Wherever you are and whatever context you find, if you are opposed no matter with what degree of hostility or violence, by an greater number of people, they are automatically considered "right" and you "wrong", and a "trouble-seeker". The concept of the "majority is always right" and that of the "best ones has the right to suppress the weaker one" of Darwinian heritage, are the fruit of the war against the Bible, especially the preserved one the KJV.

But born again Christians have not to be troubled too much by such signs. They know that their home in heaven is firm, eternal and assured by the blessed blood of the Christ. They have only to wait the rapture which can happen tomorrow, or next 100 years. If the natural death will take out them out of this world before the rapture, having spent all the rest of their life before to die in the wait to "meet the Lord in the sky" will grant them a special place in heaven. Violence, aggression, attacks against Christians are increasing, not in Syria, but in the Western world. Don't fear, God is always in control, and the Lord will appear among the clouds of heaven to avenge His sheep.


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"Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Gal. 4:1


Rowdy Crowd in England Gets Preachers Arrested
Issue Date: July/August 2017 

Consequences of the spreading belief that there are many ways to God is evident in the arrest of a couple of street preachers in England. Americans Michael Stockwell and Michael Overd were with a group street preaching in Bristol, England.
As is common in such public witnessing, they preached against sin such as homosexuality, the deception of false religions, as well as quoting John 14:6 where Jesus says that “…no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” The men were arrested, tried, and ordered to pay a $2500 fine for “…violating the Crime and Disorder Act, which prohibits speech or behavior causing ‘intentional harassment, alarm or distress’ that is ‘racially or religiously aggravated.’”
The response of one of the prosecutors to this scripture is becoming more common, showing how the one-religion world view is gaining acceptance. “To say to someone that Jesus is the only way to God is not a matter of truth. To the extent that they are saying that the only way to God is through Jesus, that cannot be a truth,” declared Ian Jackson.
The other issue in this case is related to basic freedom of speech. As they were quoting KJV verses related to homosexuality and Islam, the crowd became abusive, creating a disturbance. When the police moved in, they arrested the preachers instead of the rabble rousers in the crowd.
The peace officers were backed up by the court in their decision to go after the preachers instead of those who actually created the disorder. The constitutions of many countries include freedom of speech, but officials are increasingly siding with those who are “offended” instead of protecting the freedom to preach the gospel.
A side note of the situation was a telling statement by Jackson to the court. He declared that the statements made by the preachers “may have been in the King James Bible, translated in 1611, but that did not mean they were acceptable in 2016.”
This trend towards what some have dubbed “mob-ocracy” is part of the setup for the one-world religion for the one-world government. Anyone who goes against the “groupthink” has to be silenced. “Harmony” is the mantra, but harmony on the devil’s terms, not Biblical peace. This is a shock because we grew up in one of the few short periods of true freedom in the history of the world.
But, that era is fading fast. America is the last major hold out in the Western World and cracks are showing in the wall. Same-sex marriage lawsuits are costing Christian businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and court fees. Street preaching is becoming increasingly risky with the gospel declared as “hate speech” by the “mob.”
Quality gospel tracts will become increasingly important because of their inconspicuous nature. They can be read in private, and will wait patiently in a desk drawer till a heart is ready. Like salt, they may be small but can change the “flavor” of a whole neighborhood if widely “sprinkled.”
Soul winners, will we not be guilty if we waste this special time of freedom to further the Kingdom?
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Friday, May 19, 2017

The attack against the Bible - creeping inside

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By David W. Daniels (Attended Fuller Seminary 1984-87)
"God didn’t talk in person to His creation anymore after the Fall in Genesis 3.”
Hearing my professor say this, in his Unity of the Bible course, wouldn’t have been so shocking if it hadn’t happened in Fuller Seminary, which was once considered one of the most conservative seminaries in the country.
As we all know, God spoke directly to Cain in the very next chapter, Genesis 4! But this professor never changed his notes to match the Bible. His mind was made up.
The professor was Dan Fuller, son of the founder, Charles E. Fuller (whose preaching had led to Jack Chick’s salvation).
At Fuller, it wasn’t long before I found myself questioning everything I had believed about God and the Bible. We were frequently challenged to think differently and question our currently held beliefs. I think you will be quite surprised by what other Fuller Bible “scholars” believed.


This is Paul Jewett. He taught us that Adam didn't find a companion until he looked and saw one of the apes. He said, and I quote, "That one over there. I think it's something in the eyes." So Dr. Jewett, this champion of women as pastors, taught that the first woman was literally an ape.


This is Dr. Ralph P. Martin. He changed the meaning of a couple of Greek words in Acts 1 to make it as if Luke and Acts were written in the 2nd century, contradicting the Bible, which says Luke was an eyewitness.


This is Dr. Lewis B. Smedes. Like a confrontational talk-show host, he would try to tear down each class member’s faith in the 10 Commandments. He'd arrange us in a circle and make up tear-jerking scenarios, where breaking a commandment seemed like the only thing you could do, to solve the problem he made up. And when someone finally emotionally broke down in class, he would say in front of the others, "So you don't really believe in that commandment, do you?" He took pleasure in tearing people's faith into shreds.


These are Drs. Hubbard, LaSor and Bush. They wrote an Old Testament Introduction text that said Ezekiel was a reformer who wanted to make a bigger Jerusalem temple. But alas, his plans didn't work out. (That's Ezekiel 40-48). They said that those chapters were simply Ezekiel's wish-fulfillment dream, not from God. So they believed the Bible was written by man, not inspired by God.



Dr. Bob Schaper, my homiletics professor, said two things I still remember, almost word-for-word: “If we had a Polaroid camera, we would not have seen God forming man of the dust of the ground and breathing into his nostrils the breath of life.” And “If we had a Polaroid camera, we would not have seen Jesus ascend to heaven. ‘Heaven isn't up.’” And nobody questioned it! Yet Acts 1 plainly says Jesus “went up” before their eyes, while they watched. But Dr. Schaper never let the facts get in the way of his beliefs.


Oh, and one more thing. All the professors here, as far as they had said and I was told, were evolutionists. They thought creationism was a fairy tale, and that Genesis 1-11 was just poetry.
This is who trained thousands of present pastors and professors when they went to Fuller seminary, as I did. And they are only the tip of the iceberg.
Listening to my professors talk, was like dissecting dead things. These professors were perfectly happy to pick up the dead and rotting corpses of supposedly ancient Bible texts, cut out what they wanted, throw the rest away, and sort of “Frankenstein-together” a Bible out of the rotten remains of whatever they found.
But God's words never died. They are living! The Bibles words are "quick" —and they are powerful. They change lives.
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
"Quick" means "alive." God's words are quick and powerful, not dead and powerless.
"Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" (Jeremiah 23:29). God's word burns and breaks whatever God wants burnt and broken. That's powerful.
In short, God's words are an extension of God. They are powerful, like God. They do what God wants, when God wants, how God wants. God's words are alive. When I approach HIS Book I can find out what my heavenly Father thinks, what He wants, and what will make Him happy.
The Bible is not like any other book. It is God's Book! But my professors treated their own words as if they were more important than God's words. And they taught the sons and daughters entrusted to them to doubt the Bible and trust them.
There is a solution. You can inoculate your sons and daughters against these kinds of faith-destroying professors. Teach them to trust the preserved words of the living God, in English, the King James Bible. As far as these seminaries, “let the dead bury their dead” (Luke 9:60).

Learn more about what is happening to the Bible:

Why They Changed the Bible
David W. Daniels
288 pages - Paperback

See who is behind the gradual changing of modern Bibles. There's no guessing about what these people believe. They will tell you, in their own words!
 
(41 reviews)



Bridge to Babylon Rome, Ecumenism and the Bible
Follow the story of the Bible’s controversial history. See how the work of Westcott and Hort inspired various Bible Societies and paved the way for the cause of ecumenical unity between Evangelical Protestants and Rome.
 
(6 reviews)



Sabotage
See the struggle through the ages to keep God's Word pure, and learn which Bible can be trusted...and why!
 
(21 reviews)

Watch David W. Daniels present this info in the vlog, “Their ideas were more important than scripture?”

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