Please pray about a vote scheduled for this Friday in Moldova's Parliament that would diminish religious freedom in that country. The Law on Religious Cults ("Religion Law"), if it passes, will curtail the ability of religious minorities in that country to invite people to religious and evangelistic activities.
Christian Newswire reports that the Expert Committee on Legislation and Implementation of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy in Washington, D.C., has expressed concern that the draft Religion Law violates fundamental rights. One article of the draft Law requires religious denominations that have ecclesiastical courts to submit their courts' regulations for approval by the State. Another article allows the Government to ask a court to suspend and liquidate a denomination's activities or component parts that the Government says contravene the Religion Law, and suspension or liquidation could even result from minor offenses.
The law will prohibit "abusive proselytism", which the law defines as "the action of changing the religious beliefs of a person or a group of persons through means of violence, abuse of authority, blackmail, threats, constraints, religious hatred, disinformation, psychological manipulation or subliminal techniques." A missionary in Eastern Europe has asked for prayer about this vote, which potentially could prevent Christian organizations from inviting people to evangelistic activities. There are concerns that terms like "disinformation", "psychological manipulation" and "subliminal techniques" are vague. Those descriptions could possibly be applied to such things as Protestant evangelistic sermons and to people inviting friends to Christian sports activities.
Moldova is a former republic of the Soviet Union, situated by Ukraine and Romania. Its Parliament's largest political party is a Communist party with an interest in the European Union. Moldova is one of the poorest nations in Eastern Europe. By far, most believing Moldovans are Russian Orthodox. More than 20,000 Catholics and 1,000 Baptists also live in Moldova. Also, 1.5% of the population is Jewish.
Update Feb. 10: No one seems to know anything yet about Friday's debate in Moldova's parliament. The discussion was behind closed doors, unlike debates in the U.S. and U.K. governments. I looked for any news reports and found none. They may not yet have actually voted. Please continue to pray. When something official is announced, I will update it here.