Missionaries to the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe:
the Twenty Largest Sending Agencies*
|Assemblies of God||28||64||92||0||92|
|Biblical Education by Extension||12||51||63||2||61|
|Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa||8||25||33||0||33|
|Campus Crusade for Christ||234||165||399||172||227|
|Child Evangelism Fellowship||25||64||89||0||89|
|Christian & Missionary Alliance||39||10||49||0||49|
|Church of Christ**||104||128||232||0||232|
|Church Resource Ministries||17||129||146||110||36|
|Evangelical Free Church Mission||12||52||64||21||43|
|InterVarsity Christian Fellowship||32||12||44||44||0|
|Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod||32||15||47||36||11|
|Church of the Nazarene||16||21||37||19||18|
|Southern Baptist Convention||80||76||156||60||96|
|Youth With a Mission||1600||700||2300||2000||300|
|Total for 20 Agencies||2678||1655||4333||2811||1522|
**Church of Christ totals do not include 200-300 mission-trip participants (1-6 weeks) because this short term of service falls below the 3- to 24-month designation for short-term missionaries.
Compiled by Pamela Meadows, research assistant for the Institute for East-West Christian Studies, Wheaton College.
EWC&M Report staff recently contacted the 20 agencies which we presumed would have the largest number of Protestant missionary personnel in the former Soviet Union and East Central Europe. If we have overlooked any agencies with comparable missionary staff in former Soviet-bloc countries, we would welcome and publish corrections or additions.
Readers should first note that these figures, representing the 20 largest sending agencies, give no indication of the missionary personnel of hundreds of smaller ministries. At this point, the EWC&M Report is not aware that anyone possesses current totals for all Protestant missionaries in former Soviet-bloc countries. (Compare these figures for 20 agencies with Patrick Johnstone's estimates for total missionary personnel previously reported in the EWC&M Report 2 (Winter 1994), 5.) The Editors' impressions, admittedly based on no hard data, are that few agencies beyond this list have more than a handful of career missionaries each in the former Soviet Union and East Central Europe.
A second caution is that while the 20 agencies report a total of 4,333 missionaries, the majority of these (2,811) are short-term (from three months to two years). Also, bear in mind that recent Russian and Ukrainian government actions blocking CoMission access to public schools undoubtedly will have an impact on future short-term totals for sending agencies associated with the CoMission.
As for interpretive remarks, the Editors consider 1,522 career missionaries to be a relatively modest number for the 20 largest agencies for such a large and populous region. Considering the sizeable missionary concentrations in such cities as Budapest, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kiev, it would appear that many smaller cities and rural areas lack a significant missionary presence. Accounts of a missionary invasion penned by Western, Orthodox, and nationalist writers would appear to be overstated. But if the focus is on easily accessible cities and on large-scale, short-term summer ministries, it is easy to deduce the source of misleading impressions.
Finally, no Western missionary statistics should obscure the fact that indigenous Protestant missionaries and evangelists are less heralded but certainly more numerous than Western missionaries in such countries as Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. (See EWC&M Report 2 (Winter 1994), 6.)
Written permission is required for reprinting or electronic distribution of any portion of the East-West Church & Ministry Report.
© 1995 Institute for East-West Christian Studies