Russia (MNN) — Russia has undergone a political shake-up ahead of presidential elections in March. President Vladimir Putin has accepted the resignation of his prime minister, Mikhail Fradkov, and nominated a relatively unknown as replacement: Viktor Zubkov . He is head of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service, a financial market watchdog.
Analysts had been expecting Putin to nominate someone who would go on to be a leading presidential candidate, but it is unclear if Zubkov is Putin's preferred choice of successor.
This may be another "control" issue for Putin. At least that's what Russian Ministries' Sergey Rakhuba expects: "There will be more control expansion within the society, although there are some unknowns."
In recent years, Russian officials have tried and succeeded in controlling the media; they've also won approval for new laws that restrict religious freedom. Rakhuba expects that to continue. He isn't optimistic that things will improve. "I don't see much bright future for the evangelical church except just to continue fighting, continue praying, continue training the young people. Despite any changes in the Russian political structure today, we will continue reaching youth for Christ."
Time may be running out to train the next generation of evangelical churches leaders. Russian Ministries wants to help young people develop the level of commitment and passion for ministry, so that despite any changes in Russian political landscape, they'll continue reaching the Russian society for Christ."
According to Rakhuba, tthis will make the difference at the political level. "They will become the new politicians–Christian ones–and on behalf of their churches, they will be offering changes."
However, nothing can happen without training. Rakhuba says you can help. "It takes $350 a year, per person. And that's for 2,200 students this year who will effectively continue reaching their communities for Christ despite any changes [politically].