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Published on 24 March, 2004

Hundreds gather for pastors’ conference in Moscow

CIS (MNN) — It’s being called one of the most significant gatherings of evangelical/Baptist church leaders from the 15 former Soviet nations. The Slavic Gospel Association helped facilitate the conference, says SGA’s Tom MacAdam. “The conference was really to gather the people together for encouragement, fellowship, training and also to just share with one another the challenges as well as the blessings they have seen in their ministries in the various regions,” says MacAdam.

Attendees include educators, pastors, missionaries and youth and women’s ministries. However, MacAdam says the conference also featured reports from country leaders. He says some regions are seeing incredible openness, but others aren’t. “From some of the leaders of the churches, we heard in their nations that there’s increasing challenges and restrictions; limits on evangelism in public, requirements for churches to be a certain size in order to register, requirements to have buildings in order to be registered.”

MacAdam says in some of the Islamic nations it’s even worse. He says, “Pastors and church planters are facing outright threats and persecution. One pastor was giving his report and he stopped in the midst of his report and looked up at the crowd and said, ‘brothers, we thought we had more time.'”

However, the group also celebrated a new Russian study Bible. MacAdam says, “SGA has capped off a four year project to translate the John MacArthur Study Bible into Russian. That was presented. For many, it will be the first translation that they’ve had of a study Bible and I believe it’s the first study Bible of the Old Testament that any of them have ever received.”

While SGA was able to give away 8,000 Bibles during the conference, funding is needed so even more of these Bibles can be distributed throughout the region.

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