Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Forerunner

Delegation to Soviets: Release Christian dissident prisoners

By Editorial Staff
Published April 1, 1988

DE BURGHT, Holland – A direct request was made to Soviet authorities for the release of Soviet Christians imprisoned for their faith at the first international consultation of “Human Rights and International Cooperation” in January, attended by unofficial representatives of thirteen countries, including the Soviet Union and the United States. Delegates included former First Lady Rosalyn Carter, a number of congressmen, and various religious leaders.

The Soviet delegation agreed to examine a list of 250 known religious prisoners convicted under laws of “religious activity” presented by U.S. Congressmen Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ). The list was accepted by Soviet delegate Yuri Smirnov, a member of the Council on Religious Affairs and the U.S.S.R. Council of Ministers, but Western delegates were reminded that the Soviets hold a different view on the religious prisoners issue. “Many prisoners on your list are criminals who are also religious people trying to find a defense on religious grounds,” said Fedor Burlatsky, chairman of the recently formed Soviet Commission on Humanitarian Problems and Human Rights and expert advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev during the Geneva, Reykjavik, and Washington summits.

Though the three-day meeting was cordial and non-confrontive, Western delegates continued to press the Soviets for action regarding religious prisoners. In the final hours of the De Burght consultation, Western delegates proposed that the final communique on the conference include a statement indicating the West’s desire to see a complete amnesty for religious prisoners on the occasion of the millennial celebration. The motion was followed by heated debate on both sides and was finally withdrawn by the U.S. delegates upon assurance by the Soviet delegation that the issue would be discussed in Moscow immediately following their return and a report on the status of each prisoner would be released soon.

The cause of religious prisoners in the Soviet Union and the basic right to worship without government control or intervention were major issues of concern to the delegates present at the consultation.

Although the dialogue between the East and West was intended to find areas of mutual understanding on a broad range of human rights-related issues, including terrorism, unemployment, and environmental problems, it was the issue of religious freedom as a basis for all human rights that clearly divided the West from the East, according to an Open Doors News Service report.

Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter, a member of the U.S. delegation and keynote speaker, said, “[Religious freedom] is an elementary right which no government can violate.” This elicited a charged response from Fedor Burlatsky, a Soviet advisor, who cited “civil and political rights” without which “each individual cannot hope for improved working conditions and [there can be] no betterment of human economic standards.” He accused the American government of focusing too much on individual rights related to social problems and said, “Americans will not take up the burden for millions of unemployed individuals.”

Burlatsky’s failure to make any mention of religious rights in his speech was cited by several Western delegates, including Lutheran clergyman Richard Neuhaus, who commented that without the presence of religious rights a government cannot expect to have long-term survival. “We must not speak of every human problem as a human rights problem,” he said, quoting excerpts from Carter’s speech. “The problems of homelessness are not human rights problems.”

At a press conference following the conclusion of the De Burght consultation, Andrei Grachev, section leader of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, said,“Rather than declaring an amnesty for 18 or 200 individuals,” the intention of the Soviet authorities was that in the future “no innocent person, in the East or West, would be persecuted for his beliefs, including religious beliefs.”

Burlatsky said in his final remarks to journalists that the conference was a “manifestation of the triumph of the spirit of constructiveness, the spirit of searching for mutually acceptable solutions and the spirit of concessions, … We listened attentively to expressions … on the problem of human rights addressed to the Soviet Union on the part of Western countries and the United States.” He described the conference as a commission which consisted of “enthusiasts who would like to work … for the deepening of glasnost in the Soviet Union and for consistent implementation of human rights in the Soviet Union.”

Members of the Western delegation expressed more restraint in their evaluation on the conference. Congressman Chris Smith said he was encouraged by the “one-on-one contact with key players” of the Soviet delegation over the three-day period. “I believe we had moments of real dialogue [with the Soviets]; it wasn’t just an exercise in rhetoric. Expectations are that something good will come out of it.”

The De Burght consultation, organized by Dutch businessman, Ernst van Eeghen, and Landrum Bolling, president of the Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem, was also sponsored by several European evangelical mission groups, including Open Doors International and Christian Solidarity, which are noted for their work on behalf of Christians in the Soviet Union and other restricted countries.


Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Russia, Ukraine and former USSR

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

Watch these pro-life videos on-line.

“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California

“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter

$4.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.

Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

$9.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

Search this site:
View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube


Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...


View My Stats