RUSSIA – Russia suspends activities of Baptist and Pentecostal theological seminaries

The main theological training centres of the Pentecostal Union and the Baptist Union in Russia have been forced to stop their activities.

Evangelical Focus | Forum 18 News | Apr. 1, 2019

According to a Forum 18 report, Russian evangelical Christians see the increase of control over these kind of institutions as “a means by which the authorities are attempting to curtail their activities and place them under even greater official scrutiny”.


The Russian Pentecostal Union’s Eurasian Theological Seminary was obliged to stop offering certificated courses when its licence was annulled in November 2018 after a series of court cases brought against it by the Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science Rosobrnadzor over the administration of its undergraduate theology degree.

The seminary had to stop offering all its degree and diploma courses. It is currently in the process of applying for a new licence, Pentecostal Union lawyer Vladimir Ozolin told Forum 18. This is the only way it will be able to resume operating fully.

“Inspections of Evangelical universities in 2018-2019 have shown the inconsistency of legislation on education and freedom of conscience, which has created a lot of problems for our educational institutions”, Eurasian Theological Seminary Rector Aleksei Gorbachev commented.

“I believe these actions have a systemic, intentional character, under the pretext of supervision of educational activities”, Pentecostal Union lawyer Vladimir Ozolin aslo added. “In this way, pressure is being exerted on the non-traditional confessions; this is perhaps another act of intimidation”.