East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 5, No. 1, Winter 1997, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe

New Internet Source for News on Religion in Russia

Mark Elliott

On 6 January 1997 Dr. Paul Steeves of Stetson University, DeLand, FL, posted on the Internet his translations of two significant articles on religious conflict in Russia.  The authors were Anatoly Krasikov, director of Moscow's Center for the Study of Problems of Religion and Society, writing a lengthy and impassioned defense of the imperiled Russian Republic law on freedom of conscience (Nezavisimaia gazeta, 9 October 1996), and Metropolitan Nikolai of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas, ardently championing "preeminence in law" for "the traditional, historically proven [Orthodox] faith of Russia" (ibid., 16 December 1996).  These exceptional, primary sources are just two of many articles Dr. Steeves has translated since April 1996 documenting the ongoing war of words over the religious destiny of Russia.  They illustrate the timeliness and strategic value of the translator?s new Russian religious news translation service. It is available free of charge over the Internet (http://www.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/), and includes quite a few original Russian texts as well as complete or excerpted English translations.  A well-done subject index enhances the usefulness of the service.  A sampling of other translated articles includes: "Orthodox Deacon on Sects in Russia (11/29/96)," "Update on Draft of Religious Law (11/29/96)," "Provincial Legislation Against Religion (11/26/96)," "Soviet-Type Legislation Threatens Evangelical Activity (11/25/96)," "Continued Religious Conflict in West Ukraine (8/28/96)," "Estonian Orthodox Settlement (8/26/96)," "Religious Broadcasting in Russia (7/20/96)," "Threats to Protestant Churches in Muslim Republics (7/5 and 11/96)," and "Customs Officials Seize Bibles (4/16/96)."

Newspapers regularly screened for translations include Argumenty i fakty, Ekspress khronika, Zhurnal Moskovskoi Patriarkhii, Literaturnaia gazeta, Nezavisimaia gazeta, Ogonek, Pravoslavnyi Sankt-Peterburg, Russkaia mysl, Segodnia, and Zavtra.  English-language sources include Keston News Service, Moscow News, and St. Petersburg Times.  Russian church historian and journalist Yakov Krotov produced a fine Moscow-based religious news translation service, Christianity in Russia, that unfortunately has ceased publication.  And the Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press occasionally carries articles on religion. But nothing currently available even remotely compares with the value of Dr. Steeves' Internet translation service.  For current information on religion in the former Soviet Union I now would recommend three sources first: Dr. Steeves' Internet translations of Russian religious news; Keston News Service; and the East-West Church & Ministry Report.  Dr. Steeves welcomes comments on his translation service:

More on Dr. Steeves
Paul D. Steeves holds a B.A. from Washington University, St. Louis (1962), and an M.A. (1972) and Ph.D. (1976) from the University of Kansas, where he studied under William Fletcher, a well-known specialist on Christianity in the Soviet Union.  His two-volume dissertation, "The Russian Baptist Union, 1917-1935: Evangelical Awakening in Russia," (University of Kansas, 1976, 638 pp.) is unsurpassed to this day in its treatment of Russian Baptist theology and church-state relations.  (Available from University Microfilm, 300 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346; tel: 800-521-0600, ext. 3781; http://www.umi.com.  Order #7702280.  Cost: $46.00 for microfilm; $57.50 for paperback; $69.50 for hardcover.  Contact University Microfilm for educators' discount.)  Dr. Steeves also is the author of Keeping the Faiths: Religion and Ideology in the Soviet Union (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1989); and editor of The Modern Encyclopedia of Religions in Russia and Eurasia [formerly titled . . . the Soviet Union], with six volumes (A to D) published to date.   He currently is researching Russian Protestant pacifism in the 1920s.

Mark Elliott, "New Internet Source for News on Religion in Russia," East-West Church & Ministry Report, 5 (Winter 1997), 2.

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1997 East-West Church and Ministry Report
ISSN 1069-5664

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