I am saddened this morning to see the news that last week Russia passed new laws regulating the manners and situations by which my brothers and sisters can share the Gospel of our Lord. Those that know me, know that I lived for almost two years in Russia. I lived among the people and grew to love them deeply. This news saddens me deeply, knowing that a situation that was already difficult to deal with due to the pressure of the Orthodox Church has gotten even more difficult.
During my time in Russia, I spent many a Saturday out with my friends sharing the Gospel and handing out Bibles. It would seem that these times are now at an end for believers in Russia that do not share the view that the Orthodox Church is the only church. My heart aches knowing that many of those that I lived among could be arrested for simply sharing the Gospel with their neighbors and co-workers. This is an attempt by those who hate God to limit His reach among the people of Russia.
While this places new and harsh restraints on Christians in Russia, it also shows just how much their country has forsaken God in every way and what we as a nation (America) have to look forward to if the Church continues to remain silent on issues of justice and truth. The people of Russia are hungry for real truth to be brought to them, many having clung to what they remembered before communism and fearing that they would never worship the God of the Universe in public again. That ban was lifted for a time, but it would appear that time is coming to a close.
This should serve as a warning to all of those "Christians" who wish to stand by ignoring God's word while millions of children are killed and the very institution of marriage, designed by God, is destroyed. Our brothers and sisters in Russia are being persecuted and oppressed. This same persecution will soon be coming to America because in general the American church has failed to stand upon truth and justice. It has been tossed by the wind, floating whichever way the majority of public opinion desires.
Let us pray for those in Russia that God will give them a boldness that resembles that of Peter in the book of Acts. May we never be afraid of what man can do to our earthly bodies. Let us pray that the people of Russia will be blessed with the hearing of God's Word proclaimed among those believers who choose to defy the decrees of men and may we weep and mourn with and for those who will undoubtedly pay for their defiance with much sorrow and distress. There will be those who lose their jobs, money, homes, and even lives for their defiance of this new decree and sadly most of the world will never hear about their sacrifice for the Gospel.
May God be merciful to us and bless those who give freely the only hope and life that has the power to save, Jesus.