MOSCOW, Russia — Four Protestant theological institutions in Russia have either had their higher education licenses revoked or annulled or admissions suspended by the country’s education service.
They include Eurasian Theological Seminary (Pentecostal Union) and Moscow Theological Seminary (Baptist Union), both in Moscow; Theological Institute (Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Ingria) and Theological Seminary (Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Russia), both near St. Petersburg.
Two schools subsequently obtained lower-tiered licenses. Without a license, it is illegal in Russia to conduct educational activities that lead to formal qualifications.
Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science claims religious institutions must follow federal standards. Legal experts assert the laws exempt religious entities.
On April 5, citing a need to prevent importing extremist ideas, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed amendments requiring some foreign-educated clergy, as well as non-ordained religious teachers and missionaries, to have “additional professional education” before practicing in the country.
By Forum 18