Christian in Russia, Olga Glamozdinova fighting back – fined by Russia for hosting worship services in her home [#RussiaPersecution #ChristianPersecution]
[October 27, 2019]
A Christian in Russia is fighting back after being fined by the government for hosting worship services in her home.
Olga Glamozdinova lives in the village of Veselyi and has allowed worship sessions for her protestant church to take place in her home weekly.
Olga Glamozdinova was fined about 10,000 Russian rubles (about $204.00 Canadian) and is now taking the matter to court in St. Petersburg, Russia.
According to Olga Glamozdinova, the decision has violated her rights to freedom of religious expression, as well as her right to freely own and dispose of her property.
The land in question was originally designated for “private farming” as of January 2017, according to the international Christian charity, Barnabas Fund.
Olga Glamozdinova registered the church on this property. However, she received a fine for “use of the land for unintended purposes” about 9 months later.
After 2 court hearings, the decision that Olga Glamozdinova was using the land for a purpose other than what it was originally intended for has been upheld. Olga Glamozdinova is now appealing these rulings before the Russian Constitutional Court.
Russian law does not allow for existing residential buildings to be registered as churches. The law also rarely grants permission for church buildings to be built for Protestant congregations. As a result, churches face greater chances of closure at the hands of Russian authorities.
According to Vladimir Riakhovsky, the lawyer who has represented Glamozdinova during her case, the situation shows a “legal ambiguity” in the system that is repressing freedoms for religious associations.
This case is not a unique example. Should Olga Glamozdinova’s appeal be successful, it would assist in shaping future cases concerning religious freedom in Russia.
It is expected to take a few months before the Russian Constitutional Court releases its final decision.
Christian challenging fine for hosting home worship services in Russia: