Different but Prominent - the Offspring of Ivan Prokhanov
„Word for You“, an evangelical news service in Moscow, is publishing segments of an amiable, non-threatening interview with Alexander Andreyevich Prokhanov. Prokhanov is a prominent rightest, nationalist journalist and author similar in conviction to Eduard Limonov, founder of the National Bolshevik Party. Repressed by the Yeltsin government, Prokhanov overcame censure in 1993 by founding a new national weekly, “Zavtra”. He remains its chief editor. His work has often exhibited anti-Semitic tendencies and one of his more infamous deeds involved the hosting of the US-Nazi David Duke during a visit to Russia in 1999.
Prokhanov is a great-nephew of Ivan Prokhanov (1869-1935), a major leader in the early Evangelical-Christian and Baptist movements. Alexander’s father, Andrey, was the son of Ivan’s brother. Alexander and Ivan never became personally acquainted, for the great-uncle died in Berlin three years prior to Alexander’s birth in Tbilisi. Ivan’s only son and Alexander’s uncle, Yaroslav Invanovich (1902-1965), was repressed during the late 1930’s because of his family connections. Yet Yaroslav continued on to become a prominent professor of botany and genetics.
In the initial segment published on 27 May, Alexander explained: “I cannot say that I grew up in the Baptist tradition even though I heard Baptist psalms during my childhood. I remember the songs of my grandmother” (Ivan’s sister-in-law). Alexander said he lived in an atheistic era and only found his way to faith later in life through Orthodoxy. “I was baptised in the Orthodox church. But that does not prevent me from being proud of the fact that my genealogical tree includes a branch named Ivan Stepanovich Prokhanov.” Alexander believes it was his great-uncle who “Russianized” the heavily-German, Baptist faith in his country.
The Kobrin Home for the Elderly is Alive-and-Well
On 10 October 2011 we wrote: “Sixteen months after its official opening, Eastern Europe’s largest Protestant-run home for the aged is still waiting on its first resident. On 26 June 2010, the Baptist ‘House of Mercy’ had been officially dedicated in the village of Imenin near Kobrin/Belarus. Supporters of a network of Baptist retirement homes in Missouri had spent over $500.000 for the construction of a magnificent retirement centre with room initially for 42 residents.” (Text corrected.)
On 24 May 2013, Roger
Hatfield, the CEO of Missouri’s “Future Leadership Foundation”, was able to report: “There are currently 21 residents
in the House of Mercy. There have been as many as 23 with a total of 25-27 different persons. Several have died and one or two have left. Igor Miklyaev, the new administrator, is a godsend. His
spirit, administrative skills, passion for care and openness to coaching” have done the trick.
Vladimir Ryaguzov Hospitalised
On 12 June, the Baptist Vladimir Ryaguzov (Krasnodar/Russia), Founding President and President of the Russian Evangelical Alliance from 2003 to 2013, suffered a serious stroke and is hospitalised. He is said to be of sound mind but can presently only move his eyelids. The family requests the prayers of all; he and his wife Inna have two small children. Pastor Ryaguzov was born in 1950.
Also Vyacheslav Goncharenko, Senior Pastor of the Charismatic “New Life” church in Minsk/Belarus, is hospitalised with a possible stroke. His large congregation has made headlines for numerous reasons including the fact that it meets in a former cow barn. We have reported on this church in the past.
William Yoder, Ph.D.
Smolensk, 14 June 2013
Postcript in May 2020: Vladimir Ryaguzov is seriously disabled and living with his family in Seattle/USA.