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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Foursquare Churches Legally Registered!

THE FOLLOWING UPDATE IS FROM JEFF ROPER, OUR FIELD SUPERVISOR

Dear Friends of Russia,

It is with a heart filled with joy that I let you know the Foursquare Church of Russia has completed it's filing for legal registration. The government would not accept the name Foursquare, saying it was not Russian, so we had to go with “Full Gospel Churches of Russia.” There is a backlash against registering "foreign" religions in Russia. They then informed us today that if we go more than a year without breaking any laws, we may be able to apply to change the name to the original choice.

Thank you so much for all your prayers. We could tell you were praying for us. This morning we were talking about how God had given us the peace of the Lord that everything was going to be fine. If God controls the hearts of kings, the hearts of a few governments officials is no problem.

I thought it would be helpful to explain why registration so important: What limited freedom these pastors and churches have is granted to them through being legally registered with the government. Over the past few years more and more of their freedoms have been taken away. The nationalist, the communist, and the Russian Orthodox Church are working together to limit and even “stamp out” all forms of “foreign religion.” This continues to make the life of the evangelical Christian difficult. They are members of a minority religion with few rights. They are viewed with suspicion and discrimination against them is encouraged. While registration will not remove this, it does help the churches.

Please continue to pray that the spiritual strongholds of Russia are destroyed (Nationalism, Xenophobia, and Autocracy). These strongholds result in blinding Pride, Fear and Hatred of all things “foreign,” and the desire to control. It is against these strongholds that we must take a stand. Pray for the pastors, churches, and Christians of Russia to be free from all forms of these national strongholds.

Continue to pray for the continued development of a healthy movement of Foursquare Churches in Russia.

Pray for the leaders to be strengthened in faith and filled with wisdom for leading God’s people.

Pray for the churches to be of one heart and one mind, and free from the national strongholds.

Pray that our leaders and churches continue to be “salt and light” in this nation. One thing we constantly seek to cultivate is the understanding that we are not “against anyone.” We are not against the Orthodox Church. Rather we are thankful for those who have borne faithful witness to Christ in that Church. We are not trying to import an “American” or “European” religion into Russia. We are helping Russians develop an indigenous, authentic expression of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is relationally connected with the global Foursquare Family of Churches.

Pray that God will continue to guide and bless us as we seek “to build healthy, indigenous, reproducing churches throughout Russia.”

Blessings,

Jeff Roper
Foursquare Regional Missionary Serving Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova.
Russian Leaders and Missionaries

1 comment:

Erin said...

That's AWESOME!! I can't believe I didn't read this until now. I can't wait to share this with the church! Love you and miss you both, Erin