Austin Atkinson grew up in West Jordan, Utah and served as a Russian-speaking missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Baltic Mission, living in Latvia and Lithuania for two years. He graduated magna cum laude from BYU with a double major in Geography and Russian. His passion for the culture and language led to an internship with the Slavic Center for Law and Justice in Moscow, Russia in 2016. The Yarovaya laws restricting foreign proselyting in Russia were passed during his time there. This experience renewed his interest in the complex dynamic that is religious freedom in the former Soviet Union. The son of a banker and a calculus teacher, he made the logical decision after graduation to continue his education and attend BYU Law School. Austin was a 2018 Student Fellow for the ICLRS, and spent the summer working with the Church’s Office of General Counsel in Moscow, learning more about the different aspects affecting religious freedom in Russia, and around the world.