It is no secret that religious freedom is under attack, not only in certain countries, but all over the world. Russia firstly outlawed evangelism throughout the country in 2016 as a part of its anti-extremism laws; and in 2017 an entire denomination, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, was completely outlawed in the country and have since had their property seized. Another country is following in the footsteps of Russia, and that country is Bolivia.
From Christian Today, “Christians in Bolivia are warning they could be about to see the end of religious freedom in their country, according to Evangelical Focus.
A new law brackets criminal groups with religious organisations and bans people trying to 'recruit' others to take part in 'armed conflicts or religious or worship organizations…' This could mean that street preaching is banned and even inviting someone to a Christian event could count as an offence. The law would affects [sic] both Catholics and evangelicals which make up about 19 per cent of the population, or two million people. Evangelical representatives are warning it could mean the end of religious freedom in the country.' Will they denounce us if we bring a group of people to a Christian camp? Will I no longer be able to preach the Gospel on the streets?' asked pastor Miguel Machaca Monroy, President of the coalition of evangelical churches in the capital city.
The National Association of Evangelicals in Bolivia also criticised the new Penal Code and a statement said: 'It is deplorable that Bolivia becomes the first Latin American country to persecute the rights of freedom of conscience and of religion, which are protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the declaration of San José de Costa Rica, and our Constitution.”
Students of prophecy understand that Satan is willing to sacrifice all evangelism in order to prevent the proclamation of the Three Angels’ Messages from going forward. But Satan should know by now that the more he tries to prevent the gospel from going forward is the more that it will advance. “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” 2 Corinthians 13:8. Furthermore, because Satan realizes that his days are numbered, he is working with utmost fervor and vehemence to hold souls in his grasp. But praise be to God, all the heavenly agencies are using every resource for the salvation of souls no matter the human limitations and restrictions that are placed on the sharing of the gospel.
Many individuals in the United States are aghast and pityingly shake their heads at what has happened in Russia and now Bolivia, thinking that if only those countries valued the freedom that the United States affords such laws could never go in effect. But little do they realize that civil and religious freedom in the United States will be utterly denied as every principle of the constitution will be repudiated. Even now it is apparent that both civil and religious freedoms are being chipped away at, many times in the name of security. We can expect to see more evangelism banning in other countries—yes, even including the United States. The question is, should we as Protestants, who have been given a commission to go into all the world teaching and preaching the gospel, obey the laws of the land and keep our mouths shut, or should we obey the dictates of the word of God? We should emphatically declare: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29.