East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 3, No. 2, Spring 1995, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe


Resources

Ecumenical News International, which regularly carries information on the church in the former Soviet Union and East Central Europe, superseded Ecumenical Press Service (EPS) in September 1994.  Known as the International Christian Press Information Service (ICPIS) from 1934 to 1947 and EPS from 1947 to 1994, this worldwide news service has always had close ties to mainline churches and the ecumenical movement.  ENI, which disseminates stories by fax, e-mail, and a bimonthly published bulletin, is supported by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Conference of European Churches.  For rates contact:  

A rare look at an Orthodox perspective on dispensational theology recently appeared in a journal of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad:  Sister Anastasia, "Will You Meet the Lord in the 'Rapture' or in Reality?," Orthodox Life 45 (January-February, 1995), 39-47; and (March-April, 1995), 22-33.
 
  

Bible Audio Cassettes in East European Languages:
New Testament in Bulgarian:  1924 Revised Edition, 16 cassettes, 24 hrs., $59.95 Order #S50190;
New Testament in Hungarian:  24 cassettes, 36 hrs., $69.95, Order #S50160;
New Testament in Latvian:  Lat ev. Lut. Baznica Amerika Version, 16 cassettes, 24 hrs., $59.95, Order #S50230;
New Testament in Lithuanian:  1988 Kannas Version, 16 cassettes, 24 hrs. $59.95, Order #S50240;
New Testament in Ukrainian:  1963 Basilian Fathers Version, 16 cassettes, 24 hrs., $59.95, Order #S50250;
The Gospels in Western Armenian:  8 cassettes, 12 hrs., $39.95, Order #S50180.

Shipping charges additional.  Contact:

 

Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries has published a 25-page, Russian-language directory of 101 seminaries and Bible institutes in the former Soviet Union.  Spravochnik bogoslovskikh uchebnikh zavedenii (Directory of Theological Schools) will be revised by editor Alla Tikhonova for a fall 1995 edition.  The current preliminary edition is available for $10 from:

Russian Ministries 
Box 496 
Wheaton, IL 60189 
Tel:  708-462-1739 
Fax:  708-690-2976 
E-mail:  rmwheaton@mcimail.com
Assotsiatsiia "Dukhovnoe vozrozhdenie" Rossiia 117296 
Moskva a/ya 120 
Tel/fax:  011-7095-930-55-06 
E-mail:  rmmoscow@mcimail.com
 

New Life, a free quarterly interdenominational Christian newspaper, deals with mission work and other issues in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries.  Its sister publication, Novaya zhizn', is available in Russian for a small fee.  Contact:

Gail Greenwood, editor 
Box 70302 
Seattle, WA 98107-0302 
Tel:  206-782-1442 
Fax:  206-784-4506
Olga Pozdnyakova, editor 
Volgograd a/ya 79, 40006 Russia 
Tel/fax:  78442-33-96-37
 

Patrick Sookdheo of the International Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity
is the author of "The Impact of Islam in Central Asia."  This report covers the history of Central Asia and current political, cultural, and social conditions with special reference to the influence of Islam.  It is designed as a briefing paper for Christians working in the region and includes a bibliography.  Cost:  6/$10.  Contact:

 

Report available on the consultation, "Christians in Small Business Development in Central and Eastern Europe," held 15-18 December 1994 in Bratislava, Slovakia.  The consultation facilitated the development process of biblically rooted models of business development.  The report includes:  transcripts of talks given by Dr. Bill Bolton, Cambridge University, and Dr. Carl Armerding of Schloss Mittersill Study Centre, Austria; notes on case studies given by consultation participants; summaries of discussion groups; an address list; and organizational and project details of participating agencies and other groups involved in business development in post-Communist countries.  Cost:  6/$10.  Contact:

 

Christian Educators in TESOL (CETESOL) publishes a  newsletter three times per year which provides insightful articles, conference notices, and resource updates.  The editors suggest a donation of $2 per year.  CETESOL also offers a list of Bible-based teaching resources.  Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:

 

Review of Candles Behind the Wall:  Heroes of the Peaceful Revolution That Shattered Communism by Barbara von der Heydt.  Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1993.  $19.99.

Lawrence A. Uzzell

How important was religion in the collapse of Communism?  Right now, post-Communist Russia looks less like a nation of believers than like one of exhausted cynics:  it is as easy in Moscow as in Manhattan to find bright, young professionals who have never read or thought about the Bible.  The Russian Orthodox Church, at least at the level of its upper hierarchy, is in some ways the country's most Soviet institution, the only one still led by the same people who were in charge during the Gorbachev era.   At present the most successful political parties and movements which invoke Orthodox Christian symbols and traditions are those allied with neo-Bolshevik reactionaries, not with reformers.  Of the heroic Christians whom Barbara von der Heydt chronicles in her moving book, only one is now in a position of political power in Moscow:  the reform-minded Orthodox priest Gleb Yakunin, an elected member of the Russian parliament, recently defrocked by Patriarch Aleksei II.

Baroness von der Heydt's work demonstrates that Christians influence politics most profoundly not by directly taking over parties and governments, but through the moral witness of personal example.  This is all the more true of Christians under a regime based on compulsory lies.  To topple the Soviet power structure, a critical mass of people had to follow Solzhenitsyn's call to "live not by lies!"  This critical mass, ready to pay the price of prophecy in Gulag camps or psychiatric torture chambers, was drawn disproportionately from Christian believers.  Candles Behind the Wall profiles a selection of these believers and their lives before and during the fall of Communism.

Baroness von der Heydt has given us not a political history in the conventional sense, but a series of personal portraits--almost a contemporary "lives of the saints" for a century which has seen more Christians martyred for their faith than the previous 19 centuries combined.

Von der Heydt, an American-educated journalist who now lives in Germany, sees the record of these heroic few as offering a spiritual depth and dimension not available in the West:  "The years of persecution endured by believers in the East have produced spiritual riches of strength and perseverance and wisdom.  These riches are sorely needed in the West, although few are aware of their spiritual poverty."

Lawrence Uzzell, journalist and Orthodox layman, is Moscow representative for Keston Institute, Oxford, England.  Edited excerpt reprinted with permission from The University Bookman 34  (no. 4, 1994), 9-11.
 


Resources, East-West Church & Ministry Report, 3 (Spring 1995), 12-13.

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
ISSN 1069-5664


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