Press Releases

Ivanov Court Refuses to Dispute Decision of the FSSD to Deport American Missionary

22 May 2009

On May 22, 2009, the Ivanov Regional Court reviewed the claim made by American missionary Chris Billek concerning the admittedly illegal decision made with regards to the undesirability of his residency in Russia.  In spite of the fact that neither the Department of the Federal Migration Service nor the Federal Security Service Directorate presented any evidence that Mr. Billek had broken Russian legislation, the court refused to hear the allegations listed in his claim.  In other words, the court did not view the actions of the FSSD as illegal.
Sergey Burdachev, the lawyer for the Coalition of Evangelical Christian Baptist Churches in the Vladimir and Ivanov Regions, reports that the representative of the FSSD in the Ivanov Region did not explain in what way Chris had broken Russian legislation, but rather in his written response to Chris’ claim reported that Chris’ “residency in Russian Territory represented a POSSIBLE threat to the security of the Russian Federation,” and that “the court HAD NO RIGHT to interfere” in the authority and decisions of the FSSD.  “And this is supposedly the most humane court in the world.  The court goes its own way, and the FSSD takes whatever actions it wants and answers to no one.  This is the reality of life,” says Sergey Burdachev.
The court’s decision can be appealed to the Russian Supreme Court and to the European Court of Human Rights.  Vladimir Mis’kevich, the senior presbyter of the Evangelical Christian Baptist Churches, has issued a call to members:  “Pray for Chris, for wisdom in the resolution of this matter, and especially for our safety.  We are on the front lines.  We believe that God is for us and that Chris has committed no crime.”


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