A new Russian law forbids evangelizing except within a church service. This includes using e-mail or other online communication. It even outlaws private evangelistic conversations within one’s own home.
This is not the work of Godless communism. It comes out of the Russian Orthodox Church and its resistance to “proseletyzing” on the part of Western Protestants and Roman Catholics. I wonder what would happen, under this law, if a devout Orthodox Russian tried, over glasses of vodka, to persuade an old-line Communist to embrace Orthodox Christianity. I suspect this would be allowed. My impression is that the Russian Orthodox Church considers all of Holy Russia to be its domain, even among the unbaptized. But I don’t know.
Ironically, the recent Great and Holy Council of the orthodox, the Russians not attending, put out a statement affirming religious liberty that pointedly did not include “the right to convert.” I’d love to hear from Orthodox readers about why this is.