Moscow: Project of a Russian Association for Protection of Religious Freedom (RARF)
On 21st of January 2014, Oleg Goncharov, Secretary General of IRLA Euro-Asia region, took part in a meeting of the State Duma Committee for Public Associations and Religious Organizations. Representatives of Russian religious associations, the Presidential Administration, the Government, and State Duma were invited. The subject of this meeting was the changes in the law relating to the activities of religious associations. Secretary General Guncharov had the opportunity to speak and was able to share information about the problems some religious minorities and churches are experiencing. The representative of the Evangelical Pentecostal Church, Sergei Ryahovsky, presented the common project of the organization of the Russian Association for Protection of Religious Freedom (RARF).
The idea of establishing such an organization has been supported by other speakers. After the meeting, Secretary General Goncharov met with Yaroslav Nilov, the Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Public Associations and Religious Organizations. Chairman Nilov expressed his interest in assisting religious minorities, including all Protestant organizations, to help them solve their current challenges.
--Dr. John Graz, Secretary General, International Religious Liberty Association