Land & People
Russia is the largest country in the world, part of which is in Europe and part in Asia. Siberia and the Far East, where Baptist Mid-Missions has the majority of its activities, are in Asia.
Russian Orthodox traditions dictate many customs of the people, even among the non-religious. The Russian Baptists do not hold to the same doctrinal position as a fundamental Baptist would here in the USA. Primary differences include eternal security of the believer and autonomy of the local church. Along with Russian Orthodoxy, there are large followings of Buddhism, Islam, animistic shamanism and, because of Russia's 70-plus years under communism—humanistic atheism.
Year Entered by BMM1992
During the days of Communism, Baptist Mid-Missions missionaries in Western Europe were quietly assisting Russian believers with Bibles and literature. One missionary visited for years and started a church in Tioukalinsk in Siberia, where his father was born.
Missionaries from Finland have been going to the St. Petersburg area since 1991 and working to help existing churches.
In 1992, Dan and Carol Pollard began a ministry in Vanino in the Russian Far East on the Asian side of Russia. A residence and church facility was constructed and services begun. Missionaries were granted religious worker visas for a number of years until, at the impetus of the Russian Orthodox Church, stricter laws were enacted against churches formed after the fall of Communism. Our Vanino-based missionaries' visas were not extended when they expired, and they were forced to leave the country. Dan Pollard was able to enter Russia on short-term visas until the spring of 1999. Since then the church has continued without resident missionaries.
In 1998 two couples entered Russia as students and began language study in Eastern Siberia. One couple continues to serve in Russia and has a significant ministry assisting and strengthening independent, fundamental Russian churches. Evangelistic opportunities abound in academia through various universities and other educational institutions, public and private, in the city and region. Opportunities are also available in the orphanages of the region.
Missionaries in Russia cannot operate as openly as in the early 1990s, yet opportunities abound if the Lord is calling. God's work goes forward as we depend upon Him.
Missionaries with burdens and skills in evangelism and discipleship are needed to reach out to unsaved Russians and help Russian churches. Campus workers are also needed.
Learn more about Russia here.