The Soviet regime killed an estimated 20 million Christians between 1921 and 1980. The pressure stayed high until 1991, when the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 independent countries.
As soon as they could, thousands of Christians fled from the former Soviet Union, a migration that significantly hurt evangelicalism. But not everyone left. And the door that was open to migration worked both ways, letting in thousands of missionaries.
The Christians who remained split themselves from the one official Protestant denomination into at least 35 more, then got to work. Within 10 years, Russians started ministries in hospitals, orphanages, prisons, and soup kitchens; founded Christian publishing houses; and formed professional networks for Christians in the marketplace. Seminaries sprang up and began steadily turning out pastors trained in biblically sound doctrine.
But recently, the country has begun cracking down on religious freedom again. Foreign missionaries have been watched with a high degree of suspicion; however, there are enough Russian theologians, with training, to take their place.
Ways to pray:
- Praise that Russia has an unprecedented level of good resources
- For pastors to preach expositional, gospel-focused messages
- For protection from the Russian government, that it would not target the Reformed movement
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
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