Russian authorities are strongly considering banning Twitter due to it’s refusal to remove banned content. Russian authorities allege that the site contains illegal posts that have not been removed by the social media giant. The illegal content includes not only 2,500 posts encouraging child suicide, but also child pornography and drug information. In the past year, Russia has seen civil unrest as many citizens took to the streets to protest the incarceration of Alexei Navalny. Authorities claim that some social media sites refused to remove posts that encouraged children to join the protests, and as a result, the government has been asked by Putin to more closely monitor content from the sites.
This is not the beginning of the standoff between the Russian government and social media. Beginning in 2014, authorities have tried to force social media to store the personal information of all Russian users on servers in Russia. When the sites refused to comply, they were fined. Although the Russian authorities have repeatedly threatened to ban both Twitter and Facebook, they have not yet done so–perhaps for fear of the unrest it could cause. In the near future, they may choose to ban or slow social media sites that refuse to abide by Russian laws. The citizens of Russia are accustomed to an authority that suppresses their liberty, but Christ offers them spiritual liberty, a personal relationship with God, and eternal life. They need someone like you to tell them this good news.
Russia is the largest country in the world, and has a population of 147 million people. Of those, less than 2 million are Christians. In total, there are 162 people groups in the country, but 47% are completely unreached with the gospel. With so many unreached people groups, the need to evangelize is dire and time is short. Please pray for the Christians in Russia to be bold in their testimony, and for people to answer the call to missions in that needy country.