On Thursday, the ruling United Russia party’s youth wing staged a protest against Mormon missionaries, accusing them of being American spies and calling for them to leave Russia. Activists from the Young Guard gathered outside the Church (sic) of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Russian headquarters in Moscow, chanting slogans such as “No to foreign agents!” and hoisting placards reading “Foo, CIA!” They also left a symbolic plane ticket, emblazoned with the CIA logo, for a one-way flight from Moscow to Washington outside the headquarters. Yekaterina Stenyakina, co-chairman of Young Guard’s coordinating committee, said, “This is an American sect. They’re funded by the USA, and it’s proven that many young Mormons return to the USA to work for the CIA and FBI”.
The move is the latest in a series of Kremlin-driven offensives in recent months directed against alleged foreign influence in domestic affairs. Since President Vladimir Putin’s re-election to the presidency last March, the RF Federal Assembly (parliament) passed a variety of laws restricting foreign and Russian pro-democracy and human rights organisations. Just yesterday, the RF Federation Council, the Federal Assembly’s upper house, approved a bill that broadens the definition of treason that could include NGOs that provide consulting services for foreign governments or organisations. Last month, the Kremlin ordered the US Agency for International Development to cease all operations in the country. The organisation had funded many Russian NGOs for about 20 years.
Stenyakina issued a stern warning to Russian youth, who she claimed are easily wooed by free English lessons and community service provided by Mormon missionaries, saying, “It starts with free English lessons, which then leads to becoming a missionary oneself”, adding that the alleged 14 billion USD (442 billion Roubles. 11 billion Euros. 8.8 billion UK Pounds)in humanitarian assistance in Russia provided by the church has gone “unnoticed”. Experts said the Russian authorities have long worried about LDS influence in Russia. In 2008, the LDS was forced to re-route its Russia-bound missionaries after the Kremlin introduced new visa restrictions for humanitarian workers.
Religious expert Ivar Maksutov, a researcher at the Russian State University for the Humanities, told RIA-Novosti recently, “Because [Mormons] are involved in humanitarian activity, such as feeding the homeless or handing out literature, this is perceived as some form of bribery”. LDS officials denied the protesters’ claims. Yelena Nechiporova, director for the LDS East Europe area’s Public Affairs Department, said the foreign agent allegations are baseless, noting, “It’s somebody’s opinion without any facts, without any legal investigation, without court decisions. Preaching the gospel (sic) is our main goal”. She also refuted Young Guard’s claim of the alleged LDS 14 billion USD assistance package in Russia, saying that LDS groups have spent only about 5 million USD (158 million Roubles. 4 million Euros. 3.2 million UK Pounds) in humanitarian assistance in the country.
1 November 2012
The Mormons are known liars. They’re purveyors of a warmed-over semi-Masonic pap that’s no more religious than a Playboy magazine. Since the time of Brigham Young, they’ve been advocates of theocracy, and that’s all that there’s to say on the matter. Some konvertsy flirt with them… that’s dangerous. The Mormons are cultists… full stop. They’ve no grounding in historical Christianity… they only date back to the 19th century Second Great Awakening… just another pixillated radical sect (they block out all parts of reality that conflict with their cultic construct). You associate with such at your own peril. ‘Nuff said…
By the way, I think that there’s a “garble” in the post. I think that the Young Guard activists meant 14 billion Roubles, not dollars… that’s 445 million USD (350 million Euros. 280 million UK Pounds), a not infeasible figure for 20 years, if one counts missionary support, subsidies to local outlets, etc. The LDS cult does have access to such amounts of money (Willard Romney gives them millions every year… this cult gets most of his so-called “charitable contributions)… it socks its “faithful” for 10 percent of their salaries, and if they don’t pony up, they don’t get a temple “recommend”… which has led many people to miss out on their kids’ weddings. Nice bunch…