07.03.2018

Not Everyone wants Reconciliation

Would Jesus have been a „Monist“?

Commentary     M o s c o w – The elation in the South Korean city of Pyeongchong reached the rafters on 9 February as the united Korean team entered the arena under an all-Korean flag. Any of us who had suffered through the division of Germany could not help but be moved. How much hate and aversion had rained down on Koreans during the past 70 years! And the Korean division has been much stricter and is surviving much longer than the German one. Had the...

06.03.2018

Waiting on the White Smoke

The Russian Evangelical Alliance’s 15th annual convention in Moscow

M o s c o w -- It took a while for the white smoke to climb up the chimney. That’s the Roman Catholic metaphor the 66-year-old Alexander Fedichkin, the Russian Evangelical Alliance’s president, used to describe the protracted internal negotiations leading up to his appointment for an additional three-year term. Consequently, the REA’s 15th annual conference, held on 22 February in Moscow’s Lutheran...

02.01.2018

Dividing the Christian Sheep from the Christian Goats

Protestant Developments in Russia during 2017

M o s c o w -- In an interview with Moscow’s dissident “Portal-Credo” news service on 26 December, Yuri Sipko, the Russian Baptist Union’s one-time president, described the banning of Russia’s Jehovah’s Witnesses on 17 August as the country’s most significant religious development during 2017. “This measure destroys the constitutional right to freedom of conscience.” With this step, “the political establishment has demonstrated its ignorance and its choice of force as the...

03.10.2017

The Position of Ukraine’s Protestants is Different

Thoughts regarding a long-term confrontation

Commentary G w a r d e y s k – There are similar concerns among the Protestants of Russia and Ukraine. Both express aversions regarding the liberal, Western world and its defence of women’s and gay rights. Together with the Orthodox, both support the retention of traditional family values. Let us therefore list their differences. There are opinions and practices among the Protestants of Ukraine which barely exist in Russia. Most of the...

02.10.2017

Waiting on Santa Claus

A comparison between the Orthodox and Lutherans in Russia

Commentary Gvardeysk/Tapiau, Kaliningrad Region – Sometimes I sit on one of the benches still retaining a seat in front of Kaliningrad/Königberg’s aging, 1999-built Evangelical-Lutheran “Church of the Resurrection” (Auferstehungskirche) and gaze skyward at its impressive façade. That awakens both happy and sad memories. At the turn of the new millennium, Kaliningrad’s Lutheran services were still visited by hundreds who brought along their...

01.10.2017

The Desire to Live in a Normal Country

Russian Protestants invited to emigrate to the USA

G w a r d e y s k – Apparently, the „Yarovaya Laws“ of July 2016, which are intended to hinder proselytization, also have positive consequences for the Protestants of Russia. The Protestant advertisement forum „Khristianski Megafon“ (formerly „Maxima-News“) carries the advert of an “American Visa Center” inviting the interested to emigrate to the USA (see for ex.

29.07.2017

Half of the Story, Honestly Told

Review of Benjamin Goossen’s book, “Chosen Nation”

M o s c o w -- The “invention” of a Mennonite nation is one outstanding theme in Benjamin Goossen’s dissertation, “Chosen Nation. Mennonites and Germany in a Global Era”, published by Princeton University Press in June 2017. This Mennonite from Kansas with Russian-Ukrainian roots points to the fact that the theory of a Mennonite “nation” was based on the assumed existence of a Jewish one. In both cases, a religious-ethnic grouping present in many cultures was seen as part of...

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