Open Doors describes the oil-rich former Soviet republic as “the country with the most sophisticated and intelligent dictatorship”. Religious freedom is enshrined in the Constitution, but constrained by the regular tightening of policies and regulations governing religious activity. Successive rounds of re-registration have diminished the number of qualified Baptist Union congregations from ten to zero. While the government burnishes its freedom credentials before international audiences, at home its agents infiltrate church congregations. It reviews all religious publications. Mission work by foreigners is outlawed.


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