A New Face both Outward and Inward
M o s c o w – In the 140th anniversary year of its inception, the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists is transforming more than just the outward appearance of its Moscow headquarters. Inner changes include the refounding of a department which had not survived the Perestroika period: the Department of External Church Relations. Its new director, the Moscow pastor Vitaly Vlasenko is convinced: “If we Baptists come together and share our resources across all European borders, we can create synergetic effects benefiting the entire kingdom of God!”
This revived department has three primary branches: Its diplomatic and representation desk intends to propagate the Union’s activities and convictions both externally and internally. It hopes to contribute strongly to the strengthening of inter-church relations both in Russia and abroad.
A second desk will focus on the exchange of information with other churches and countries. Publications and press conferences will appeal for understanding for the concerns of Russia’s evangelical Christians. The country’s Protestants continue to make up less than 1% of the total population.
A third desk will concern itself with the legal protection of Union interests regarding property rights and finance. Religious freedom is an additional concern which this branch hopes to defend.
The department’s director, Vitali Vlasenko (37), was from 1993 until 2006 head of the Russian ministry of Campus Crusade/Young Life. His colleague Yevgenia Kushnir is responsible for legal matters. Though both of them speak English, the German-American Dr. William Yoder will be officially responsible for media work in German and English. The department’s phone and fax number is: 007-495-954-9231. Email is: „firstname.lastname@example.org“.
Russia’s Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists consists of 78.000 baptized believers in 87 church districts. They meet in 1,930 local congregations and groups located between Kaliningrad in the West and Vladivostok in the East. The Union’s General-Secretary is Pastor Yuri Sipko (53). National headquarters are located in 117105 Moscow, Varshavskoye Shosse 29, corpus 2
Dr. William Yoder
Moscow, 23 January 2007
A press release of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists. May be published freely. Release # 07-2, 310 words.