• Pray for true religious freedom to reign as discrimination and prejudices against evangelicals are rooted out.
• Pray for the millions who consider themselves Russian Orthodox to embrace spiritual change that leads to biblical faith.
• Pray for a hope for the future found not in drugs, alcohol, or crime, but in Jesus Christ alone.
The largest country on earth, Russia covers over 6.6 million square miles and includes nine time zones. It has a vibrant cultural history of ballet, literature, painting, and music. Roughly 135 different languages are spoken among dozens of ethnic groups, with their own dialects, traditions, and perspectives adding a unique sense of diversity. With the memories of Communist rule still fresh and the scars of oppression still healing, Russians continue to search for a future amid the lingering shadows of the Soviet Union (USSR).
Russia was the backbone of the USSR for over 70 years. It became independent after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 and Boris Yeltsin became president. Vladimir Putin, first elected in 2000, has become one of the world’s most powerful leaders. Many social ills plague Russia and bring great suffering to its people. It is a source, destination, and thoroughfare for human trafficking. It is also home to some of the most skilled cybercriminals in the world. Drug addiction is rampant. As narcotic and opiate use continues to rise, HIV/AIDS is being transferred through shared needles, resulting in one of the world’s highest rates for newly reported cases. Russia also suffers from the world’s second highest abortion rate. There are over 85,000 orphans, and an estimated one million children live on the streets. The economy is also facing challenges, as the decreasing value of oil has caused significant economic strain.
Russian Christians are some of the most severely and continuously persecuted in recent history. Today roughly 64% of Russians identify as Orthodox. Evangelicals (1%) can be viewed with skepticism and have been accused of being a “foreign cult.” Though the nation has a long history of Christianity, believers have suffered immense persecution, for a century, with the former Communist regime destroying many churches. While church attendance has doubled since the Iron Curtain fell, persecution is on the rise again. Believers have been banned from meeting outside registered buildings and from any form of proselytism. The law against evangelism has placed restraints on both missionaries and congregations outside of the Russian Orthodox Church. Biblical teachers are still needed to provide sound doctrine. Only God, manifest through his Body, can bring the hope and deliverance this nation seeks.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14
Source: Осанна - Hosanna Hillsong Russian version: Nelson Martin Pompeyo
Capital City: Moscow
Major People Groups: 88% Indo-European, 8% Turkic
Religion: 54% Christian, 31% Non, 10% Muslim
GDP Per Capita: $12,200
Literacy Rate: 99.4%