Thursday, November 19, 2009

What the new law means

Recently, a few people have mentioned the new law about foreign "laborers" in Russia. Here's an explanation on someone's blog.

The reality is that mass evangelism has been restricted for awhile. I have heard about things getting "tighter," but I think it depends on what you are doing. Every once in a while you hear of a Bible study somewhere getting broken up, but I think that's fairly rare.

I haven't participated lately in anything that would be against the new proposed law. I know that authorities are especially concerned about anyone that could be taken advantage of, such as invalids or children. They fear that children are "impressionable." (I think Orthodox education of children starts pretty early, but apparently that doesn't count.)

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Anyway, I can't think of a situation in which this law would apply. I attend a Russian church and there's nothing there that would draw attention to missionaries. I don't do any proselytizing in the orphanage or any other public places. What I do is all about life and work and the relationships along the way. But Christ is the foundation, and no law can change that.

I don't have too much contact with other missionaries, so my perspective might not be accurate. If any foreign-run ministries have had to close, I don't think it is an indicator that Russia is closed to the Gospel. It just means that people will be seeking the Gospel in other contexts.

9 comments:

  1. There is a very beautiful religious order founded (or perhaps inspired by) Charles de Faucauld, called the "Little Brothers of the Poor" and the "Little Sisters of the Poor". They do not aim to do anything more than simply live among the poor of the world (they actually have a slight preference for muslim peoples) exemplifying the Christian lifestyle. Being kind, being loving, being thoughtful, good neigbors, fun, appealing...and thus illustrating what Christianity is about. I am SO drawn to this idea! For me it seems far superior to a lot of "salesmanship". When people (even Christians) try to "sell" me religion I am backing up very fast. I want to see what is so appealing! I want to be attracted! Then I will ask questions.

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  2. I like the approach of "living simply." I suppose the key is to not OVERsimplify and lose our faith. There are parts of the Christian life that are unavoidably complicated. And it isn't possibly to live entirely without offense. At some point we will have to open our mouths and speak the words that may seem strange to others.

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  3. Thank you for this encouraging post Elizabeth.

    It was my blog that you have mentioned and I would like to ask if I may re-post your comments in my comments section?

    Blessings

    Stuart

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  4. Thanks Liz! Interesting stuff...

    J

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  5. Stuart-yes, you may. Sorry I didn't ask you first!

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  6. Thanks Elizabeth.

    We often see 'troubling' news from Russia and it is good to get some balance from those 'in the know'.

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  7. Christ in our midst!

    Elizabeth:
    Have you ever been interested not only in teaching your faith to the Russians who were baptized 1021 years ago, but also in the learning of something good from our Orthodox Faith?

    In this regard, I would appreciate your opinion about my website
    http://www.russian-victories.ru

    So help us God!

    Michael Kuznetsov

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  8. Greetings, Michael! I believe in "one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" (from the Nicene Creed). Во едину Святую, Соборную и Апостольскую Церковь.

    Thanks for your link! Of course I am interested in Russian Orthodoxy, since I live in Russia.

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  9. God bless you and yours, Elizabeth!

    Michael

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