In 2019, several residents of Saransk, including Denis Antonov, were prosecuted for their faith. Law enforcers considered the conversations about the Bible to be participation in the activities of an extremist organization.
Denis was born in 1976 in Syktyvkar (Komi Republic). The family moved frequently, as his father worked as an agronomist and helped on collective farms in the north. Denis had a brother who is no longer alive.
After school, Denis entered a technical school in Vorkuta, where he received a degree in mining electromechanics. For about five years he worked at the mine as an underground electrician, then as a janitor, a building maintenance worker, and most recently as a house foreman. His father instilled in Denis a love of photography, macro photography and to this day his hobby along with playing chess.
From his youth, Denis asked questions about God, tried to read religious literature and the Bible, but did not understand much in it. While serving in the military, he corresponded with a friend who taught him about Bible teachings. The consistency of the Bible and the fact that God has a name touched Denis's heart.
In 2015, Denis married Olga, whom he had known since 1996. She worked as a cook in a coal factory and in a kindergarten. The couple moved from Vorkuta to Saransk to take care of Olga's elderly mother, who was left alone after her husband's death. During the search, the authorities confiscated their employment records and other documents, which forced Denis to close his file. Spouses are forced to provide for themselves, interrupted by odd jobs.
Olga's relatives are worried about the possible outcome of the criminal prosecution of these peaceful people. They hope that the authorities will sort everything out and allow the spouses to finally get a normal job and return to a quiet life.