Tough Love is Needed

Striving for a happier 2016

Commentary Smolensk -- One indeed can speak of a new spirit of inter-confessional relations between the Christian denominations within Russia and Ukraine. Ukrainian thinkers such as the Baptist Mikhail Cherenkov have long celebrated this development. But that “spirit” is driven at least in part by the presence of a common enemy – not necessarily by the Holy Spirit. Recent examples: On 7...


God: Big Enough to Stomach Us Both

A commentary on evangelist Franklin Graham in Moscow

Rev. Franklin Graham’s visit to Moscow from 28 October to 1 November was surely the most “politically incorrect” visit of a Western church leader to Eastern Europe in decades. A foreboding of things to come had arisen when Graham assured at the outset that he was praying for Vladimir Putin. Franklin Graham, chairman of the “Billy Graham Evangelistic Association” had previously only visited Russia in 1984 along with his famous father. Franklin did hold evangelistic campaigns...


Donbass in Late September

Report on a fizzled visit

S m o l e n s k – On 19 September, I tried to enter the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR) via two different crossing points. Matters were finally resolved early in the morning of 20 September: My companion, a Russian Quaker from Moscow, would be allowed to continue on to Donetsk – not me. The reason given was that I possessed neither a press card nor accreditation from the press office in Donetsk. Apparently, it is presently not possible for a Western citizen to enter the...


Only the West is still Marxist

On Russia’s conservative revival

S m o l e n s k -- In a series of reports on Denmark’s national public radio, the journalist and theologian Iben Thranholm raised eyebrows by praising the emergence of a conservative movement in Russia (see: “http://russia-insider.com/en/russia-and-west-have-swapped-spiritual-and-cultural-roles/ri9514”). One of Thranholm’s typical statements: “While the West is deriding and disowning Christianity...


The Love of Christ will Reign Victorious in Crimea and Donbass

The Problem of Selective Grief

M o s c o w -- Since 7 July, the registered Evangelical Christians-Baptists of the Crimean peninsula are legally split. On that date, delegates from 28 congregations gathered in Simferopol to transfer their membership from Kiev’s “All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christians-Baptists” to Moscow’s “Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists”. Their association of Crimean churches will now be a branch of the...


Denying Parity Ruins Much

News from Russian-language Facebook front

Commentary M o s c o w -- The Charismatic and Pentecostal cause took a hit when Gennady (or Gennadiy) Mokhnenko declared on Ukrainian television that, if given the chance, he would personally liquidate Vladimir Putin. See it for yourself under: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ2qaLqsjzs&sns=fb. Mokhnenko is a Pentecostal pastor and leading figure in his country’s “Ukraine...


Things will Turn Out OK

Report on a hardworking Pentecostal congregation in Penza

M o s c o w – The photo of two Pentecostal clergymen from Penza’s “Living Faith” congregation (Bishop Oleg Serov and Pastor Sergey Kireyev) with Igor Plotnitsky, Minister-President of the Lugansk People’s Republic, caused major waves in Great-Ukraine. One Ukrainian in USA compared the gathering to a hypothetical meeting with Chechen terrorists after the slaughter of 331 children and adults in Beslan in 2004! The event took place during the politician’s private visit to this...

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