• Pray for those struggling with addiction and poverty to find hope in Jesus.
• Pray for Christian denominations to unite in love and service to Jesus.
• Pray for women facing unplanned pregnancies to reject abortion and receive support.
• Pray for Russians to seek Christ's peace, truth, and justice in international conflict.
The largest country on earth, the Russian Federation covers over 6.6 million square miles and includes eleven time zones. Russia’s vast landscape features deserts and tundras, cityscapes and remote villages. The frigid region of Siberia makes up 77% of the country. Russia has a vibrant cultural history of ballet, literature, painting, and music. Major cities are known for their colorful palaces and cathedrals adorned by sweeping “onion domes.” Over 100 different languages are spoken among dozens of ethnic groups, with their own dialects, traditions, and perspectives adding a unique sense of diversity.
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. In February 2022, Putin ordered a Russian invasion into Ukraine, igniting a war and prompting the largest European refugee crisis since World War II. 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). Today, Russia 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 Russia having one of the world’s fastest HIV/AIDS spreading rates. Russia also notably suffers from the highest abortion rate in the world, far surpassing other nations. Updated statistics on Russian orphans are hard to find, but tens of thousands of orphans live in state institutions, often in neglectful, abusive conditions. Only 10% of Russian orphans will see their 40th birthday. An estimated one million children live on the streets.
While roughly 60% of Russians are Orthodox Christian, another 25% identify as atheist or non-religious. Evangelicals (1%) can be viewed with skepticism and have been accused of being a “foreign cult.” Though the nation has a long history with the Christian Church, believers suffered immense persecution under the former Communist regime which destroyed many churches. While church attendance has doubled since the Iron Curtain fell, persecution is on the rise again. Under a package of anti-terrorism laws, Putin signed an order banning Christians from preaching or sharing the Gospel outside the four walls of a registered church building. Evangelism in homes or online is prohibited. Missionaries and pastors who receive biblical training outside of Russia must also attend additional State-approved education. But more biblical teachers are desperately needed to provide sound doctrine. Only God, manifested through the Body of Christ, can bring the hope and deliverance this nation seeks.
Capital City: Moscow
Government: Semi-presidential federation
Major People Groups: 79% Russian; 5% Tatar (Kazan Tatar, Tura); 2% Armenian; 1% Bashkir (Bashkirian); 1% Chuvash (Bolgar, Bulgar)
Religion: Christian 82%, Muslim 13%, Agnostic 4%, Ethnic religions 1%
Language: Russian, Tatar, Armenian, Bashkort, Chuvash
GDP Per Capita: $26,500
Literacy Rate: 99.7%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 12.1%
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