American Baptist Missionary Who Was Arrested In Russia Takes Case to European Court

Christian pastor Donald Ossewaarde, seen here with his wife Ruth

An American Baptist missionary who claims his religious freedom was violated in Russia has taken his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Last summer the Russian government, under the guise of trying to prevent terrorism, made it illegal to share religious beliefs without proper government authorization.

In August of last year, Donald Ossewarde was arrested for conducting a Bible study at his home.  He was later convicted and fined 40,000 rubles, which is approximately $600.

Lorcan Price, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom International, says the pastor is the victim of Russia’s “heavy-handed” targeting of religious minorities in their country.

After appeals in Russia failed, Ossewaarde, with the support of ADF International, has filed an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

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Bill Bumpas