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An Answer To Prayer For Moscow’s Church

Historical Overview of Russia

Russia is the largest nation in the world and has a population of approximately 139,390,205 (according to a July 2010 estimate). To give an idea of its size by comparison: the United States, including Hawaii, has only six time zones, while Russia contains eleven.
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Formerly a superpower, Russia has a rich, though turbulent history beginning in the 12th century with the Mongols, and marching through eight centuries of perpetual expansion. It was called the Russian Empire under Peter I, also known as Peter the Great. He ushered the nation out of the Dark Ages, founded St. Petersburg and initiated changes that would lead to them being a world power. The Russian Empire remained until the Revolution in 1905, and Russia’s many defeats throughout WWI. The last Tsar Nicholas II was removed from the throne in 1917 as Lenin and the Bolsheviks took over and introduced the first communist state: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Communism ruled with a strong hand under Stalin (1928-53), was reformed by Khrushchev but was confused by Gorbachev. In 1991 the Russia we know today, along with 14 independent republics, was born.

There is not much said about the progression of Christianity in Russia, but a 2006 census showed that 15-20% are Russian Orthodox, 10-15% are Muslim and 2% are “other Christian”. These estimates are only taken of “practicing worshippers,” as Russia has large populations of non-practicing and non-believers. This non-believing population is a legacy of over seven decades of Soviet Rule.

Russia has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The economy has opened to a more globally integrated market, but that exposed it to some severe losses in the recent financial crisis. Russia was among the hardest hit and its already poor citizens became poorer.


The Message In Russia

This vast expanse of land with its unsaved millions has placed a burden on the hearts of several courageous brothers to spread the Gospel. Through the various and wonderful works of the Lord, the Message has reached from metropolitan Moscow to the tiniest rural villages in Siberia.

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Brother Guido Vanbrabant, from Belgium, has had significant impact with his Siberian Youth Ministries. He works closely with Russian brothers to preach and spread the gospel of hope to young people, especially children in orphanages. Amazing testimonies of the power of faith have been shared, such as one orphanage for small children emptying out almost entirely as the children prayed for families to adopt them, or take them back.

The Lord’s soldiers on the front lines:
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The translation work in Russia is carried forward by willing warriors such as Brother Dennis Pietsovich, as well as a small group in the south of Moscow. These, amongst several others, devote tireless hours to provide the Message of the Hour in their own language.

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Brother Sergey Volkov, the local Pastor of a group of believers in Moscow had a burden to build a church as a center from which to spread the Message. Bible Believers was privileged to play a part by contributing some of the funds towards the construction. Due to old Soviet rules and slow legislation processes, permits are difficult to obtain. But despite the difficulties, he and his congregation persevered and brethren from around the world were welcomed to their dedication meetings held in May 2010.

At that time Brother Sergey expressed some concern about licensing for the church, as the people were not legally permitted to have an assembly there, only a residence. To obtain such a license is expected to take eight years.

New Years Eve of 2010 Brother Sergey related a phenomenal testimony via live video stream to the assembly at Cloverdale Bibleway:
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He said he is thankful for the moving of the Spirit the Lord has given them there. He invited an old friend, a pastor of a Oneness church, to the dedication services. He started attending services regularly for the last while, and soon started asking whether he should just join his church together with Brother Sergey’s church. Brother Sergey stopped him from doing that and advised the pastor that God has given him sheep and he needed to be doing what God called him to be doing. This man took all the messages of Brother Branham that they had available to his own church, in which he has been preaching the Message for some time. He set up a “tape library”, the whole Message library, and said, “This is the Fountain from which I have been drinking lately, and that’s what I have been preaching to you.” He even told his church that he is going to periodically separate himself from the church to come learn more of the Message so he can teach his people. The saints are very grateful that the Lord has touched his heart and his people.

Besides all this, the Lord used this man to answer Brother Sergey’s prayer about a license. This brother was registered with two different churches separately: the Full Gospel church and a Spiritual Academy. He wanted to close the registration in the church but he would need the registration at the Academy, and since he wanted to join the two churches together, he asked Brother Sergey if he would like to take over the church registration. The main pastor of the Full Gospel church was replaced, and Brother Sergey’s church received the full registration they required. Without this, they would have had to register and obtain signatures from a large organized group, such as an Orthodox church. God allowed that they could be registered under a Full Gospel church and now they are free and fully legal to print literature, evangelize publicly, preach the Gospel and “do what they need to do”.

Brother Sergey’s church is also home to a Message HUB print station! It is currently the only station whose location is known of the three or more that have been taken to Russia. As soon as possible a map will be provided showing numbers and locations.
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