Religious freedom could hurt outreach in Russia

By October 24, 2006

Russia (MNN) — As Russia continues its debate on the religion law amendments, Christians in the west are wasting no time in seeing what they can do to help the church in Russia be prepared to handle more cuts in religious freedom.

Vice President of Russian Ministries’ Sergey Rakhuba says his organization is doing just that. Rakhuba says, “All these laws that Russian lawmakers are introducing, that would affect more foreign missionaries and foreign organizations.”

These amendments could force many foreign missionaries out of the country, which in turn hurts training and funding, says Rakhuba. That’s why Americans need to help now. “The key is that we equip the national church leaders to continue ministering, continue spreading the Gospel, (and) continue reaching out to the children and youth.”

While the Russian economy is helping oil and gas companies, it’s not helping the local church. “You go outside of Moscow and you see how much need there is in those little communities. This need surrounds these Christian leaders. They’re committed, but they need a little financial support to continue their programs, to continue their ministries.”

With 13.5 percent of the Russian population making $2 a day, the need for western support is great.

That’s why Russian Ministries is hosting a vision tour of Russia for Christian business people willing to support their work focused on the Next Generation. Without that support, Rakhuba says, “Without support the spread of the Gospel will definitely get slowed down in Russia and especially in the Muslim territories like the Northern Caucusas and surrounding areas in Russia.”

The 10 day vision tour trip will take you to Russian Ministries’ work all over Russia and the former Soviet Union, meeting national Christians to find out first hand what’s needed to help nationals reach their countrymen with the Gospel.

According to Rakhuba, evangelism in Russia is still needed, and the youth are hungry for hope — hope that can only be found in Christ alone.

To get more information about the trip to Russia, go to our website.

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