Russia: A Christian Nation?

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When I first wrote the books in the Grace Sufficient series, I hadn’t really researched religious freedom or churches in Russia. Most of my research was directed toward the Soviet years, because I assumed there would be more restrictions during that time. Little did I know that religious liberty is being attacked this very day in Russia.

In Moscow, there are fewer than 30 Baptist churches, while the city’s population is 20 million. In the broader scope of things, there’s one evangelical church for every 31, 346 people in Russia,[1] and only around 4% of the people are evangelical Christians.[2] Some statistics place that number even lower.[3] 80% of people are Orthodox[4], but that is no comfort, for Orthodox doctrine teaches a salvation that is not the salvation of the Bible.

Adding to this problem, a law was put into place in 2016 that attacked religious freedom. “While freedom of religion is constitutionally guaranteed in Russia, the relevant legislation names Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism as the country’s four traditional, protected religions. Others with smaller presences in Russia, including denominations like Baptists, have been subjected to increased scrutiny in recent years.”[5] This law, nicknamed the “Yarovaya law,” bans most missionary endeavors with the risks of fines.[6] Obviously, this is a horrible threat to the spread of the Gospel as Christians are persecuted.

In Unknown, the church and Gabe’s missionary endeavors are unaffected by this law. However, after I learned about this terrible situation, I decided to add this reality to the plot of the second book in the series (as it occurs a few years later when this law has been enacted.) While Gabe Kelly, his parents, and the church in Unknown are completely fictitious, there are many faithful brethren scattered throughout the country of Russia who are seeking to share the Gospel and disciple believers in spite of fines and other persecutions. I hope you join me in praying for our brothers and sisters as the labor as God has called them, sowing the Gospel seed and reaping the harvest that the Lord provides – no matter the cost.

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Matthew 9:36-38

[1] International Mission Board, August 2021 edition of “Prayerpoints: A Praying People Impacting a Lost World.”






3 thoughts on “Russia: A Christian Nation?

    • I know, I had no idea about it either. And the whole deal with Afghanistan is heartbreaking. We have to keep them in our prayers as well. It’s just so sad, but the Lord is still in control – even when it feels like everything’s going willy-nilly.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Unworthy Launch Week: Persecution in Russia – and in Our Own Lives | Vanessa Hall

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