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After numerous registration applications have been refused, in part for their refusal to pay a bribe, two Methodist congregations in the republic of Transdniester in eastern Moldova are struggling to continue their ministry. Their leader, Dmitri Hantil, told Forum 18 on September 3 how they are unable to rent or buy any property and are forced to meet semi-legally in private homes. Hantil personally spoke with the commissioner of religion and cults, Pyotr Zalozhkov, who indirectly indicated that they should pay a bribe of at least 500 US dollars. When he refused to pay, the application process stalled. Hantil spoke of leaders of other religious organizations who admitted to him that they had paid bribes to Zalozhkov and received their registration.

The one positive element is that threats and raids on the Methodist congregations have eased since their plight became known internationally. "KGB threats and raids on our churches have ceased since this publicity, but we can't do anything public," Hantil said.

Pray that these believers will stand firm in the face of opposition. Pray that they will be able to continue their ministry and be effective in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Country Information

Population
3,583,288 (July 2014 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Moldovan (75.8), Ukrainian (8.4), Russian (5.9), Gagauz (4.4), Romanian (2.2), Bulgarian (1.9), other (1), Unspecified (0.4)

Religion (%)
Christian (73.36), Non-religious (21.56), Muslim (4.95), Jewish (0.13)

Leader
President Nicolae Timofti

Government type
Republic

Legal system
Ccivil law system with Germanic law influences

Sources: CIA World Factbook, BBC and Operation World.

Pray for Moldova

Ask God to protect the Christians who face difficulties registering with the government.

Pray the church will be able to help provide for the practical needs of the people in this impoverished country.

Pray new laws will not cause restrictions on freedom for the people of Moldova.

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