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Absence of the right to work

According to the Soviet Constitution, Article 60:

"It is the duty of, and a matter of honour, for every able-bodied citizen of the U.S.S.R. to work conscientiously in his chosen, socially useful occupation, and strictly to observe labour discipline. Evasion of socially useful work is incompatible with the principles of socialist society,"1 Pentecostals, nonetheless, are not given equal rights in terms of employment. Although a regular work day is considered to be 8 hours, and the official minimum wage per month amounts to 50 rubles, most Believers earn between 8 and 20 rubles monthly. Due to the fact that Beliovers have large families, they must work on two jobs, otherwise they would starve to death. Similarly, active leaders of the Pontocostal communities are forced to leave work, thorofore placing their families in an even worse position, often having no income. In view of the fact that Believers are barrod from educational institutions, none of them have any particular qualifications and are always employed on "blue collar" jobs, many involving hard physical labour. According to Article 40 of the Soviet Constitution:

"Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to work (that is, to guaranteed employeent and pay in accordance with the quantity of their work and not below the stateestablished minimum), including the right to choose their trade or profession, type of job and work in accordance with their inclinations, abilities, training and education, with due account of the needs of society.

This right is ensured by the socialist sconomic system, steady growth of the productive forces, free vocational and processional training, improvemont of skills, training in now trades or professions, and developement of the system of vocational guidance and job placement.

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Absence of the right to education

According to the Soviet Constitution, Article 45:

"Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to education. This right is ensured by free provision of all forms of education, by the institution of universal compulsory secondary education, and broad developement of vocational, specializod secondary and higher education, in which instruction is orionted toward practical activity and production; by the developement of extramural, correspondence and evening coursos; by the provision of state scholarships and grants and privileges for students; by the free issue of school textbooks; by the opportunity to attend a school where teaching is in the native language; and by the provision of facilities for solf-education."

Even if the situation be that a Believer is permitted to onter the University, he is told that the profession he has chosen, in the end, will make him an educator; educators with roligious beliefs are not noeded. Aside from this, one of the prerequisites in the program of a University is the subject "Scientific Atheism. Those who do not excel in subjects of this natura, despite the fact that it is not their major, are failed.

Those who began believing only after they received a university degree, and had already a lucrative position in the business world, the moment they became Christians lost their positions and werc forced into poverty. Pentecostals are permitted to attend grammar school because primary education is absolutely compulsory in the USSR. The right to teach religion privately does not exist. Ir parents attempt to teach religion to their children, their children are taken away from them and are placed in special homes run by the State.

Absence of the right to rest

According to the Soviet Constitution, Article 41:

"Citizens of the USSR have the right to rest and leisure. This right is onsured by the establishment of a working week not exceeding 41 hours, for workers and other employees, a shorter working day in a number of trades and industries, and shorter hours for night work; by the provision of paid annual holidays, weekly days of rest, extension of the network of cultural, educational and health building institutions, and the development on a mass scale of sport, physical culture and camping and tourism; by the provision of neighbourhood recreational facilities, and of other opportunities for rational use of free time.

The length of collective farmers' working and leisure time is established by their collective farms."

The Pentecostals cannot possibly save for a vacation, as thoir minimal earnings barely cover basic needs.

They also are not eligible to obtain vacation permits because they are not members of Unions. Christain faith is income patible with the atheist ideology of the unions. Union membership cards clearly state: "The Un are the school of Communism." Moreover, the Pentecostals are continually fined for prayer meetings which exhausts their small savings.

Absence of freedom of conscience

According to the Soviet Constitution, Article 52;

"Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed freedom of conscience, that is, the right to profess or not to profess Any religion, and to conduct religious worship or atheistic propaganda. Incitement of hostility or hatred on religious grounds is prohibited.

In the USSR, the church is separated from the State, and the school from the church." 5

Pentecostals are not permitted to observe Evangelical commandments, nor to practice charity towards each other. But when our leaders are imprisoned, how can we not help them? orten parents of eight to ten children are fired from work or imprisoned; how can we not help them? Believers are not permitted to attend religious gatherings, nor to bring their children to these gatherings. They are not permitted to organize musical societies, literary clubs, prayer circles, Bible study circles, children's gatherings and other similar activities.

Prohibition of raising children in the spirit of religion

There is a commandment in the Gospel that all children of Christians must be raised in the Name of God. Therefore, all Believers must raise their children in the spirit of religion. This is absolutely forbidden in the USSR. The Soviets preach that children must reach adulthood and then decide what beliefs they wish to accopt. But the Soviets themselves do not actually wait for their children to reach adulthood; they begin preaching atheism to them almost from birth. To ensure that children will not be raised in the spirit of religion, the State takes the children away from the parents. They are placed in special State-run homes, in order to bring them up as atheists. And so it is out of concern for their children that the Pentecostals have decided to pursue the idea of emigrating.

Right to correspond and the privacy of correspondence

According to the Soviet Constitution, Article 56:

"The privacy of citizens, and their correspondence, telephone conversations, and telegraphic communications is protectod by law."6 Believers in the Soviet Union are not permitted to write' letters to their Brothers in Christ abroad. If they writo about their sufferings, they must send those letters in an illegal manner.

Loss of the right to local dofonso

According to the Soviet Constitution, Article 57:

"Respect for the individual and protection of the rights and froedoms of citizens are the duty of all stat. bodies, public organizations, and officials.

Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have tho right to protection by the courts against encroachments on their honour and reputation, life and health, and personal freedom and property."7

In the U.S.S.R., there are no lawyers who are Bellovers and who would be capablo of protecting the rights of Bollievors. To have a lawyer from the West dofend tho Pontecostal. is virtually impossible, although it was dono onco, in the case of Georgi Vins. But is it possiblo that Soviet judiciary might independently decide the constitutional issue of freedom of conscionce (as in the case of Vins) without legal defense ? All know the answer it has not happened. Vins was condemned, just like thousands of lesser-known Believers. The Soviet Press prints outright lies about Believers. With the knowledge of the authorities, Believers are bouton; they are fined for religious gatherings but the law has nover defonded them. Beliovers are subjected to discrimination, but the law never reached out to protect them, neither in the official press, nor in court.

FOOTYOTES

1) Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Union or sorict.

Socialist Republics, Adopted at the Seventh (Special)
Session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Xinth Con-
vocation on October 7, 1977, Novosti Press Agency
Publishing Ilouse, Moscow, 1977, page 50.

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