The SCLJ and evangelical leaders asserted that opponents of "nontraditional" religions in the Government and in majority faiths increasingly used the mass media, conferences and public demonstrations to foment opposition to minority religions.
After the SCLJ's intervention, the newspaper published an apology.
In the period covered by this report, such contacts included government officials, representatives of all traditional and many nontraditional religious confessions, the SCLJ, the Esther Legal Information Center, the Anti-Defamation League, lawyers representing religious groups, journalists, academics, and human rights activists known for their commitment to religious freedom.
Officials in the Department of State met regularly with U.S.-based human rights groups and religious organizations concerned about religious freedom, as well as with visiting representatives of local religious organizations, the Esther Legal Information Center, the SCLJ, and members of the State Service Academy that trains regional officials in charge of registering local religious organizations.
The SCLJ advised the "Faith in Action" Bible College in Vladivostok to seek official registration and counseled the organization that further appeals of a May 2003 Supreme Court decision upholding a March 2003 decision to liquidate the college would be fruitless.
Although past reports indicated the FSB made frequent visits to the Family of God Pentecostal Community, the Moscow branch of the SCLJ, which provided legal counseling to the community, reported no continuing harassment during the reporting period, and reported that the community had since been reregistered.
The SCLJ reported that it was unaware of further attempts by Jeff and Susan Wollman and Rolland and Virginia Cook to reenter the country, and that the couples continued to be denied visas.
The SCLJ reported that on January 13 there was an explosion in a Tula Baptist building.