Appealing for Church Unity in Russia

Baptists and others are commemorating the 140th anniversary of the Russian Synodal Bible


S m o l e n s k -- Rev. Vitaly Vlasenko, Director of External Relations for the Moscow-based “Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists”, intends for his church to make a loud appeal for Christian unity this year. In September of last year, the Russian government provided the Baptist Union with the funding necessary to hold festivities commemorating the 140th anniversary of the publication of the Russian Synodal Bible. Only since 1876 have Russian-speakers been able to read the complete Holy Scriptures in the vernacular. Used by Orthodox and all other Christians, its appearance helped foster a spiritual revival and the eventual founding of numerous evangelical denominations.


A commemoration involving all of Russia’s larger denominations is scheduled for 17 March in Moscow’s Lutheran “Peter-and-Paul Cathedral”. That is to be followed by two days of seminars at the Baptist “Moscow Theological Seminary”. A prior, smaller reception in Moscow is planned for 19 February. Billboards and Bible readings on the street are intended to encourage people to read the Word. An event on Red Square is planned for 4 June. Vlasenko assured: “We want to state clearly that all Russian churches take the Bible seriously and that we intend to strive jointly for the betterment of our society and people.” 


Inflation and devaluation of the Russian currency is forcing the commemoration to stay within strict financial boundaries.


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William Yoder, Ph.D.
Smolensk, 30 January 201

A journalistic release for which the author is solely responsible. It is informational in character and does not express the official position of any church organisation. This release may be reprinted free-of-charge if the source is cited. Release #16-01b.