East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter 1993, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe


Resources

Russian Christian Publishing (RCP) offers a range of services to meet the growing demand for Russian-language Christian literature. RCP provides translation, editing, proofreading, printing, and delivery of Christian books. It also has an extensive inventory of Russian Christian literature available for purchase.

The 1993 Great Commission Handbook has identified many short-term mission programs geared for East Central Europe and the former Soviet Union. The handbook provides addresses, contacts, backgrounds, staff requirements, and work descriptions. Copies of the 1993 edition are available for a cost of $1.00. Contact:

"The Russian Initiative," a project of the Christian College Coalition, now has established 15 sister relationships between Christian colleges and universities in the United States and institutions of higher learning in Russia.  For more information on project goals, locations, and schools, contact

A September 1992 panel discussion featuring Kent Hill, Serge Duss, and Peter Deyneka, Jr., "The Church in Post-Marxist Russia: Free At Last?," is available on audiotape. The 75-minute tape is available for $6, plus $2 postage and handling. Write for a complete catalog listing of additional resources.

Attorney Lauren Homer warns that new rules may soon make it difficult for Western organizations to register under the Russian Law on Freedom of Conscience. Since registration permits an organization to legally conduct religious meetings, own property, open bank accounts, and other basic business or ministry functions, it is important for organizations from outside Russia  to pursue registration through legal counsel. For more information, contact:

Central Europe: Religion and Publishing
Wanting to develop a strategy for evangelization for Central Europe, the British and Foreign Bible Society, along with the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism, commissioned Roger Russell Marketing of England to conduct in-depth research on religion and publishing in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland.

The result is a set of eight reports dealing with different aspects of religious life in Central Europe. These 8.5 x 11 format studies include the following titles, all published in 1991:

  1. Religious and Social Attitudes--Czechoslovakia, 64 pages, 28.
  2. General and Religious Publishing--Czechoslovakia, 114 pages, 40.
  3. Religious, Social and Reading Attitudes--Hungary, 68 pages, 28.
  4. General and Religious Publishing--Hungary, 82 pages, 32.
  5. Religious and Social Attitudes--Poland, 60 pages, 28.
  6. General and Religious Publishing--Poland, 92 pages, 36.
  7. The View of Western Publishers--110 pages, 40.
  8. International Comparisons and Overview 134 pages, 48.
The entire set is available for 230.

The reports portray different aspects of the various cultures, largely with a statistical format. For example, Report 8 sets out to depict the "true spirituality of each country" by categorizing individuals as earnest believers, reserved believers, religiously apathetic, or concious objector (antagonists). Numerous charts and graphs show various relationships.

Because of the preponderence of statistics, one wishes for more synthesis of the material in some of the reports. However, there is certainly much helpful information for those seriously interested in either publishing or evangelism in Central Europe. Plans are underway for studies of other countries including the former Soviet Union.

Orders may be placed with:

Reviewed by David Wagler, Director of Russian Christian Publishing



Getting Started
East-West Church & Ministry Report recently spoke with Art Moore, a Vienna-based missionary with International Teams and Mission Forum. When asked what three priorities he would set for Western Christian ministries with no experience in East Central Europe, he advised:
  1. Find out as much as you can before you even go. Contact individuals in the West knowledgeable about the region. Go to your local library and read what it has to offer. Many people here [in East Central Europe] don't know much about the country they are working in. Reading the single chapter of Trevor Beeson's Discretion and Valour on Romania, for example, would provide  more background on the history of the church there than many people have who are working in Romania now. We could do a lot better job of homework before we go.
  2. Get in contact with other groups working in the area, certainly if there is a coalition of ministries working together in a particular country, such as the Albanian Encouragement Project. Visit their contacts and get a feel for the lay of the land.
  3. Once you are on the ground, take a year or so before formulating a strategy just listening to the people. Gather all the information you can and prayerfully consider how you can help.

Resources, East-West Church & Ministry Report, 1 (Winter 1993), 13-14.

Written permission is required for reprinting or electronic distribution of any portion of the East-West Church & Ministry Report.

1993 East-West Church and Ministry Report
ISSN 1069-5664


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