Countries and regions
On account of our historical background, we are involved in working with members of all the peoples of Russia, Eastern Europe and central Asia.
In all the Slavic countries we work in, the consequences of atheism and communist teaching can still be felt today. Nominally, a large part of the population there feel loyal to the Orthodox Church, but anything "Christian" is missing in the lives of most of the people.
On the contrary, a secular way of thinking and living is dominant. In many countries where we work, increasing poverty on the one hand is confronted on the other hand with the wealth accumulated by a few. The large cities shine brightly, their facades are well-kept and smart, more style than substance.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the once suppressed peoples and states have found their way back to their own culture and identity. Some countries have turned to the west, others seek the proximity of Russia. The situation in the countries of the former Soviet Union is in part extremely instable, as the examples of the Ukraine and Moldova show.
In the Slavic countries, the Orthodox Church at times defends its preeminence with drastic means, and above all in Russia it uses its proximity to the state to maintain its leading position. It tolerates no other churches at its side. Especially in the central Asian countries, Islam is gaining more and more significance. In Eastern Europe, the growing influence of Islam can also be observed. Evangelical Christians have increasing problems to live their faith publicly in Russia and central Asia, and in various ways they are faced with oppression and reprisals.
In the summer of 2016, in Russia a new anti-terror law was passed which strictly regulates each and every kind of missionary activity and thus limits greatly the freedom to witness to faith in Jesus Christ in public and in private. This law has led to many Christians and churches coming into conflict with the authorities, but others have not felt any consequences so far. It is important to pray that Christians do not suffer oppression because of it and have the wisdom to behave rightly.