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ROMANIA: Extreme Young Missionaries

ROMANIA: Extreme Young Missionaries

Though the Soviet invaders were terrorizing their country, the Romanian children walked steadily towards the Russian soldiers with warm, confident smiles on their faces.

The soldiers greeted them kindly, patting them on the head. Each soldier was thinking of his own children, whom they had been forced to leave behind in Russia.

“Have some candy,” said one of the officers, holding out a handful of chocolate to the youngsters, who eagerly grabbed the hard-to-find treats. “Thank you, sir,” the boys said. “We have gifts for you as well.” They dug into their pockets, pulling out gospel tracts and New Testaments in Russian. “What is this?” the soldiers asked. “It is a book of Good News,” the boys said through mouths full of chocolate. The soldiers thumbed through the tracts.

One officer recognized the booklets as being religious and knew the dangers. He looked down at the children with deep concern in his eyes. If adults had handed out the material, he would have to arrest them. But what harm could these children do? he thought.

What the officer didn’t know was that these children had passed out hundreds of tracts and New Testaments, helping many in the Russian army find God. These children were enlisted into another “army” with an eternal “battle.” Where adults could not safely minister, children walked through a wide-open door with the Gospel.

The difference between a pessimist and an optimist is the difference between “can’t” and “can.” Certainly, believers in both religiously restricted nations and countries with religious freedom encounter closed doors. In some countries, possessing a Bible means a jail sentence. In America, the “separation of church and state” is often taken to extremes. Sometimes our focus on what we are not supposed to do as Christians makes us miss God’s opportunities. We see the closed doors more readily than we see the open ones. For example, while missionaries cannot enter restricted nations as such, “professional” workers are recruited! We can also support national Christian workers who live there. The door is open. Walk through it.

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RUSSIA: ‘Anti-Missionary Bill’ Approved

RUSSIA: ‘Anti-Missionary Bill’ Approved

The upper chamber of the Russian Assembly has approved what is being referred to by one Christian organisation as an “anti-missionary bill”.

Mission Eurasia’s Sergey Rakhuba says the bill “prohibits missionary and evangelistic activity in residential areas of Russia and limits missionaries to acting only on behalf of registered religious groups. Any person speaking on behalf of a church or religious organisation will be required to carry specific documentation of their registration with them at all times. Additionally, foreign missionaries would only be permitted to work at the invitation of registered religious groups.”

He said the bill, approved on 29 June, is “the most draconian anti-religion bill to be proposed in Russia since Nikita Khrushchev promised to eliminate Christianity in the Soviet Union.

“For years we have watched as huge changes take place in Russia under the increasingly dictatorial rule of President Putin and his administration. Freedom of religion represents a threat to the current political agenda in Russia. Today, few—if any—foreign Christian mission groups have an official presence in Russia, having been pushed out by anti-evangelical regulations.

If President Vladimir Putin signs the new amendments into law, penalties will include fines and imprisonment.

Source: World Watch Monitor, Forum 18 New Service

 Prayer Points

  • Thank the Lord that the Gospel will be proclaimed and that no weapon against His Word will prosper (Isaiah 54:17).
  • Pray His church in Russia will not become despondent but may be moved by the Holy Spirit to be bold in living out their Christian witness.
  • Pray this proposed opposition may serve to bring great faithfulness and unity to the church in Russia.