The Russian Federation is world's largest country, extending across 11 time zones, with a population of 145 million. Russia has known little but autocracy under the Tsarist Empire, and then almost 70 years under Communism. The leadership in Communism exploited the Russian people until a multi-party federal democracy was instituted in 1990. It has been a traumatic adjustment because of corruption, with many now suffering economic hardship. While the freedom of religion is written into the constitution, the Orthodox Church (60 million) has pushed through a law in 1997 restricting minority religions. Evangelicals number only .7% of the population.
OAC in Russia
OAC is just being established in Russia with our first national evangelist, David Gabrielyan. Open air evangelism works well in the cities, and film meetings are very effective in the villages. During the winter months, Cultural Centers built by the Communists for indoctrinating the people provide an excellent place for showing Christian films and preaching the gospel. People are responding to Christ, as these outreaches are done in partnership with evangelical churches. Invitations are coming in from Baptist churches far and wide for training in evangelism and for outreaches in their areas. School are opening to OAC for film showings on drug abuse and Aids, which are severe problems in Russia. Following these films, we are present the Christian answer to these problems. In answer to prayer, God has brought down the iron curtain and opened this vast land of hurting people to the good news of salvation.
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