The below is an article reprinted from the Omaha World Herald on July 15, 1993 in the 'Wor

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The below is an article reprinted from the Omaha World Herald on July 15, 1993 in the "World News" section. Permission was not given, and the views it represents are not my own. Russian Lawmakers Vote to Ban Foreign Preachers MOSCOW (AP) -- Lawmakers voted Wednesday to ban foreign missionaries from proselytizing in Russia. One critical lawmaker said the move was aimed at U.S. evangelist Billy Graham. The amendment to Russia's law on freedom of religion applies specifically to foreigners and bans missionary work, publishing, business deals and advertising, the Interfax news agency reported. The measure, which needs Boris Yeltsin's approval before becoming law, requires religious groups to become affiliated with Russian churches or organizations or to obtain state accreditation, Interfax said. "If you fail to get accreditation... you are finished. Even if God himself sent you to Russia," the newspaper Izvestia said in a commentary Wednesday. The Russian Orthodox Church, which claims more than 60 million believers in the former Soviet Union, strongly backed the move. The church has complained about the influx of foreigners seeking Russian converts. Missionaries have become increasingly visible in the former Soviet Union since the collapse of communism. American preachers such as the Rev. Robert Schuller, Jimmy Swaggart and Pat Robertson have appeared on Russian television, the Mormon Church began sending missionaries last year, and the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church has conducted regular seminars. Graham drew about 30,000 people in Moscow's Olympic arena during an American-style prayer meeting last November.


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