A significant number of foreign Christian missionaries have been expelled from Russia, with an increased number over the past year, revealed a major investigation by Keston News Service. Other missionaries are being obstructed in their work.
    Cases documented by Keston ranged from the mass expulsion of seven American adults and their eleven dependent children to the obstruction of a public lecture on Christian author C.S. Lewis.
    Several of the missionaries barred from Russia commented to Keston that they were unable to obtain an explanation for their exclusion, while the procedure followed by the authorities in reaching a decision to bar entry is unclear.
    Tolerance towards foreign missionaries has been one of the touchstones of religious freedom in Russia since the lifting of Soviet-era controls. "Increasing restrictions on foreign missionaries are often an indicator of increasing restrictions on religious freedom in general," commented Lawrence Uzzell, director of Keston Institute.
21 July 00

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