|AP Images/Musa Sadulayev)|
With trends such as a high rate of foreign immigrants, new leadership and policies, and sliding back to a communist mindset, it’s little wonder that Russia is putting greater pressure on the church.
Eric Mock with Slavic Gospel Association (SGA) says Russia is in the process of establishing its identity. This includes the new leadership putting an emphasis on going back to Russia’s roots—roots from which communism had sprouted from in the past.
“I think their leadership tends to be more controlling, and as such, it’s kind of a top-down approach, so the social system works off of that,” says Mock. “But I think the major transition that we’re seeing is that the ground for the gospel is so much harder.”
As Mock sees it, a very small percentage of those who claim a Christian faith would hold to salvation by grace through faith and a literal heaven and hell. He's finding Bible-teaching churches are limited in Russia.
With such a crisis setting in for the Russian church, SGA is stepping up its game to initiate conversation about Biblical truths and train up Russian leaders who will establish biblical foundations for the church. For example, SGA recently partnered with Ken Ham’s "Answers in Genesis" to produce his "Foundations" series translated into Russian. This series presents Ham’s major talks about Biblical truths with a heavy emphasis on Genesis. It also comes with a curriculum kit that can be used as a study guide by churches and small groups.
“We would like to help the local church be able to communicate a biblical worldview where we understand that Scripture is completely adequate for all aspects of life, that it’s true from cover to cover, and that, in this case, science and religion don’t need to be two separate things," Mock says. "In fact, the Bible is the lens by which we view the world around us.”
Please pray for people of Russia to understand that their hope does not rest in the government, but ultimately in the Lord. Pray that more Russian church leaders would become grounded in biblical truths and train up others to go out and spread the gospel to every corner of their country.