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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Prostitution in Russia


As we drive around the city of Nizhny Novgorod and to areas outside the city limits we occasionally see young women selling themselves openly on the streets. At least five times during this past week we saw working prostitutes soliciting overtly during the daytime on pubic streets.


Within the city itself there are several locations where prostitutes congregate regularly. It is sad to see these young women standing at the bus stops obviously trying to get the attention of men driving by who might be interested in what they are offering. Many of the young women look to be college age, noticeably dressed and openly soliciting business. We often wonder if they are earning money in the only way they know how, are they drug addicts, or worse, are they slaves.


Outside of the city you can often see young women standing by the side of the road, waving down trucks and cars. They usually hang out near truck stops or major intersections, but occasionally you will see a sad, young women standing in what seems to be the middle of nowhere selling herself.


The women outside the city are nearly always more rough and desperate looking. We believe that many of them are being pimped out into sexual slavery. A large case of forced prostitution and mass murder was uncovered in 2007 near the industrial town of Nizhny Tagil according to the Russian newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda. A gang of pimps had abducted girls and forced them to work as prostitutes in their brothel, killing the ones who refused. A mass grave with up to 30 victims was found. The law in Russia prohibits prostitution but we have read that the fine is only about $65. Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases are rampant here. Addicts and sex workers are prime targets for HIV, hepatitis and AIDS.


It is difficult to imagine the forces in life that drive some women to prostitution. Obviously one of the big factors is drug addiction. Pray with us as the Cornerstone church planting movement continues to bring the good news of the Gospel to those who are addicted. The Gospel brings hope to the hopeless and breaks the chains of addiction and spiritual bondage. Every week we see young people who were addicted to drugs set free by the power of the Gospel.

6 comments:

email2femail said...

Nice story, im in St Petes andi dont think it is so bad here!

www.email2femail.com

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

What a sad side effect of the Westernization of Russia that has occurred since raspad (the dissolution of the USSR). One of the major problems is the way in which "freedom" has been understood to mean that anything goes. (It happens with Russian immigrants to the USA, as well.) Somehow, the notion that those born in free countries are raised to known intuitively that the flip side of freedom is responsibility and that without personal responsibility there really is no personal freedom is not overtly taught and definitely not internalized by those brought up in non-free countries. As for St. Pete, I don't know if things are better there. I have not been there in some years, but in the largest cities, like Peterburg and Moskva, there are more ways and places for things to be hidden.

It is, however, not the Russia that was part of the USSR. Values have changed (although the value of a single human life was never the strong value that it is in the USA, so now, in the somewhat lawlessness of contemporary Russia, the single human life can be abused in many ways). The class distinction has burgeoned. Poverty abounds (as done quite a bit of wealth). The law is not as feared. Orphans exist. And on and on. I think freedom came too soon, without any foundation, for the people of the former Soviet Union.

Any help that the church can bring will be a godsend to people like these young women. The irony is that even during the strong atheistic days of the USSR, the majority of people I met were believers -- they were just not allowed to express that. The younger generation may be somewhat different, but while modern politics has made a mess of things, I do not believe that God has forsaken Russia or ever will.

Amrita said...

It poverty and addiction which does that, in our country child abuse, parents selling their own daughters, kidnappings etc. are the cause.

Sigurd Solsort said...

just wants 2 say that this is a great blog about russia and the mac donalds,

Margo in Maine said...

I pray the power of Jesus Christ and His shed blood on Calvary would break the power of the enemy over these women and that they would find Jesus ....that there would be a person who would touch each one...I pray for strength for those ministering that they will have the wisdom, and anointing to see chains broken and lives saved in Jesus Name...thank you for the knowledge of this and allowing us to pray in faith believing that God will cause a revival there...

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