Moscow denies Army appeal
In a recent International News Release, Commissioner John Larsson, chief of the staff, announced that a Moscow city judge pronounced judgment for the liquidation of The Salvation Army in Moscow.
“This will be deeply disappointing, not only to the Salvationists of Moscow, but also to the thousands of Salvationists and friends of the Army around the world who have joined with their comrades in Moscow in praying for a successful outcome to the court hearing,” said Larsson.
“But prayers are not always answered in the way or time frame that we expect. And though the judgment is a serious setback, there are signs that it may not be the end of the story.” The Salvation Army intends to appeal. Under Russian law, the liquidation will be on hold while the matter is on appeal. During that time, the Army is allowed to continue its ministry.
“Should the appeal fail, the Salvationists of Moscow, with the re-sourcefulness and courage that has historically characterized Salvationists around the world, will attempt to continue preaching the Gospel and ministering to human needs in Moscow by functioning under its national registration, as a Centralized Religious Organization–as distinguished from the disputed city registration. How far that will be possible is not clear,” said Larsson.
The Army will continue to challenge the seeming discrimination it faces in Moscow. An appeal has been made in this regard to the European Court of Human Rights.
Despite the setback in Moscow, The Salvation Army’s work elsewhere in Russia is not affected by the judgment.
“Colonel Ken Baillie, officer commanding, and the Moscow Salvationists want to thank all Salvationists everywhere for the outpouring of prayer support that has been the means of so much encouragement to them,” said Larsson. “They remain confident–despite the very real setback of the judgment–that at some point and by some way the Army’s ministry in Moscow will receive its rightful legal recognition and be able to continue unhindered.”