About the country
With its 11 times zones, Russian Federation is considered as the largest country in the world. Around 184 different (who speak in over 200 languages) ethnic groups and indigenous nomadic tribes call Russia their home. According to its Constitution, Russia is a secular state, but surveys show that around 70% of local population consider themselves as members of Russian Orthodox Church, although only less then 10% of them attends worship services on regular basis. All Protestants church believers are just around 1% of all population, but they are active in sharing their faith, which very often leads to some tensions with local governments officials, who on personal level sometimes consider Russian Orthodox Church as the “state” church and all other denominations as see as dangerous cults. But of course, believers in Russia are not having such horrible persecutions, as it was during the Soviet era.
We thank God for the blood of the martyrs and the prayers of His people. Anyway, the evangelism work still continues in Russia, although it became less public, as it was soon after fall of the Iron Curtain. Last several years many Russian Evangelical churches started to send their short term mission team to other countries (including Africa and South East Asia), who help local churches in all kind of Christian works. And as our reports says, OAC methods of evangelism are highly wanted, both in domestic and international mission activities.
World Wide Proclamation (OAC) Russia was begun with David Gabrielyan in 2002, who along with the Baptist Union, helped us to register with the government in 2005. Later Mikhael Tsvirinko joined our staff, and the base for OAC was moved from near Moscow to the Black Sea region where he lives. Here the weather is warmer, with many tourists coming in the summer. After swimming in the warm waters during the day, they walk the promenades along the beaches during the night. A crowd gathers quickly to watch an OAC program, where our evangelist uses a sketch board with black light to present the gospel. Many of them were forced to live under Communism in the past, and were taught atheism. Now they are presented with a clear message of the gospel, and invited to trust Christ. Church teams help with the counseling.
Working closely with Baptist Union churches, OAC is receiving invitations to hold evangelistic outreaches. Cultural Centers, which were once used under Communism for indoctrinating the people, now make good places for presenting the gospel during the cold the winter months. Programs in public schools, using videos on drugs and values, allow our evangelists to bring the transforming message of Christ to students. Orphanages allow gifts for the children along with a gospel message.