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Friday, September 03, 2010

September Newsletter

September 2010 Newsletter


Chris H said...

Always good to read about your activities in Russia.

I've always wondered about the attitude of the Russian Orthodox church to missionary activites by 'non-indigenous' churches. They have always appeared to me to be quite nationalistic in their outlook, especially with their resurgence after the collapse of the communist state.

Do you find them easy to work alongside? Feel free to ignore this question!

Michael and Karen McDonald said...

Chris - we have not had any personal problems with the ROC. We have residency status in Russia and are know legally as missionaries.

Officially there is separation of church and state in Russia, but in practice it is different. Protestants are typically viewed as sects and there are sometimes physical attacks upon protestant churches. We know of a Russian Baptist church which was recently burnt down.

On the other end, the Russian church that we work with was just given possession of a building that they can remodel into a church building which will seat at least 300 people. The city government gave the building to them. This church does a lot of social work with the homeless, drug addicts and prisoners, so this probably helped how the government views them.

It is difficult to work with a group which considers you a heretic at worst and at best, a member of a sect. The ROC basically demands that you submit to their authority if you want to work "cooperatively".

Chris H said...

Glad to hear it's working well for you and the churches you work with.

I was looking recently at some photos of the Russian airborne Forces Day and the ROC priests and deacons were leading the soldiers, with some soldiers carrying icons. Such a contrast to communist times!