Nothing can stop Christ from working in Russia. There have been countless examples of governments attempting to do away with religion, or somehow twist it to their liking. However, we serve a God who sees us, who cares for us, and who is stronger than any government.
When Russia’s anti-terrorism law went into effect in July 1 of this year, many grieved because they knew that, in the hands of anti-evangelical politicians, this law would become an anti-missionary law used against Protestant Christians in Russia.
And now, according to Sergey Rakhuba, President of Mission Eurasia, the controversial law is already being used in an attempt to silence Christians, especially pastors.
“There is a fierce spiritual battle raging in Russia against the forces of darkness,” said Rakhuba in a message to supporters. “The relationship between Russia and the West is growing more tense, and now the US has suspended diplomatic contacts with Russia over Syria.”
However, it is not the time to fear. It is time to put our utmost confidence and trust into God – the creator of the universe and the king of the world. It’s also time to wholeheartedly support our fellow Christians in Russia. We must share in their joys, as well as their struggles.
“But we will not abandon our Christian brothers and sisters in Russia during this time, especially as there are still incredible opportunities for ministry and evangelism in Russia. In the midst of fines, raids, and arrests, I am seeing more clearly than ever how God is at work in Russia — transforming the country according to His purpose through the witness of faithful Christians.
“These faithful Christians in Russia, and throughout Eurasia [the combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia], refuse to be silent, and they are courageously proclaiming, ‘We must obey God rather than men’ (Acts 5:29 ESV).”
Rakhuba went on to say, “As Russia becomes increasingly hostile to outsiders, it becomes more and more important to focus on our strategic, missional approach of training and equipping national Next Generation Christian leaders to influence their country for Christ.
“On October 1, a gathering of more than 350 young Next Generation leaders came together in Perm, Russia — in the heart of Siberia — for a Next Generation Professional Leaders (NGPLI) conference called ‘Calling. Faith. Influence.’ The attendance for this event went beyond our expectations, and the location of the conference was very significant to me personally.
“During the Soviet regime, the Perm region was the gulag capital of Siberia, where thousands of Christians were sent to toil and die in labor camps. How miraculous that, today, this very region is the location of a growing movement of young Christian leaders! Despite the government’s best attempts to transform Russia according to its own agenda, God is instead transforming Russia according to His divine purpose.”
Rakhuba said that “this powerful movement of Next Generation Christians mobilized by Mission Eurasia in Russia keeps growing!”
He said that on October 15, another conference took place in Krasnodar, Russia, where close to 500 young leaders, along with pastors and ministry leaders from more than 20 churches, came together to be exhorted and equipped to seize every opportunity — particularly in the workplace—for caring, effective Christian ministry.
“The young Christian professionals mobilized and equipped by Mission Eurasia represent the fields of business, education, social work, law, healthcare, infrastructure, the arts, and more,” he said. “For so many years in the Soviet Union, Christians were pushed out of these very vocations. But now, in every influential profession there are Christians in Russia who are bringing a Christian worldview to their occupations and using their influence for God’s kingdom.
“These young men and women are responding to the challenges of the new law in Russia with courage, faith, and renewed passion for evangelism and ministry. They have taken seriously their calling to follow Jesus no matter the cost. And we must take seriously our calling to encourage, train, and equip these Next Generation leaders — who are the future of the Christian church in Eurasia — with every resource we can, so that they may continue to make disciples and shine the light of the gospel in the darkness.”
He concluded by saying, “Despite increasing difficulties, we will continue to support our Christian brothers and sisters in Russia. There is much spiritual darkness in Russia today, but we serve an almighty God who is calling Christian leaders, transforming hearts and minds, and advancing His eternal kingdom in Russia and throughout Eurasia.”