Moscow attempts to liquidate Salvation Army
MEAL DISTRIBUTION in Moscow, including soup runs at the train station, would cease.
MOSCOW–The City of Moscow Department of Justice has filed in court to liquidate The Salvation Army in that city. A preliminary court hearing, originally set for July 9, has been delayed until September 11, 2001.
Elsewhere in Russia, the Army’s work continues unaffected, due to The Salvation Army being granted national registration as a Centralized Religious Organization by the federal Ministry of Justice in February 2001.
“Our hearts are burdened with concern for our Salvationist friends in Moscow, where authorities have firmly resisted all attempts to have our application for official registration approved,” stated Chief of the Staff Commissioner John Larsson in a letter to international Salvation Army leaders.
“The situation has worsened in recent days, in that the matter has moved beyond refusal to register the Army in Moscow and is now at the position where liquidation proceedings have been instigated by the Moscow City authorities. Army representatives were summoned to appear before a Moscow court on July 9 to make our defense against the threatened liquidation. Our designated lawyers were out of the country on that date, so we requested additional time to prepare our defense.
“I am asking that in every territory and command, arrangements be made to alert Salvationists to the need in Moscow, and to ask for individual and corporate prayer on a consistent basis between now and September 11.”
The city justice department’s court petition asserted that The Salvation Army should be liquidated because it “didn’t get its state re-registration by the given date” (December 31, 2000).
Captain Adam Morales
However, The Salvation Army had filed all necessary documents for re-registration by February 1999, but the city justice department eventually denied re-registration, a decision currently being contested by the Army.
A second ground for liquidation given in the justice department’s petition is that The Salvation Army could be considered defunct as it had not informed the department annually of the continuation of its activities. However, the Army has been in frequent consultation with the department since early 1999, and its current activities in Moscow are well documented there.
The Salvation Army considers the liquidation petition to be illegal and unjust, and will strongly oppose it at the court hearing.
The action of the Moscow Department of Justice is a cause for grave concern so far as it represents a continuation of efforts to ban The Salvation Army entirely from that city.
Western Territory officer Capt. Adam Morales serves in Moscow as finance officer of the Russia/CIS Command
–From an International News Release