Christian wins landmark case in Russia over right to worship in private homes

Posted at the Barnabas Fund:

Christian Olga Glamozdinova won a landmark legal case on 14 November when the Russian Constitutional Court ruled that worship services can take place in private houses.

The judgment, which will have significant implications for religious freedom in Russia, stated that homes should satisfy not only the material needs of citizens but also their spiritual needs.

Olga went to court on 8 October to challenge a fine of 10,000 rubles (£122; $155; €140) imposed by the authorities after she allowed her house in the village of Veselyi, Rostov Oblast, to be used twice a week by her Protestant church for four-hour worship services. She also registered the church at the address of the house, which is built on land designated for “private farming”.

She argued the authorities’ decision to fine her for “use of the land for unintended purposes” violated her “right to freedom of conscience and religious confession”, as well as her right to freely own and dispose of her property.