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Prison Fellowship Invited to the Soviet Union

By Editorial Staff
Published November 1, 1990

WASHINGTON, DC (FR) – In late October, Prison Fellowship, a reform ministry founded by Charles Colson, began working within the Soviet Union in order to provide a Christian presence in the Soviet prison system.

Soviet citizens interested in working in prisons as an expression of their Christian faith were presented with four workshops by Ron Nikkel, president of Prison Fellowship International. The convocation was held in Moscow October 22-28.

“My general thrust will be to get these 850 Christian Soviet leaders connected with the Prison Fellowship Committee,” said Nikkel. “The convocation is geared toward learning new ways of Christian outreach. The organizers have invited resource people from a variety of areas and since prisons are high on their list, we were invited to participate.”

The four workshops presented methods for building relationships with prisoners and communicating the Gospel in light of prisoners’ needs. Nikkel and Robert Babb of Prison Fellowship’s Frankfurt office also worked with church leaders on how to mobilize volunteers for ministry.

Soviet Christians Organize

Organization of Christian volunteers for prison work began in April this year when Nikkel and Charles Colson visited the Soviet Union and received permission from Vadim Bakatin, Soviet minister of internal affairs, to go into the prisons with religious programming.

“Our prisons are open to you,” Bakatin told Colson at the time. “This is what we need in the Soviet Union.”

Consequently, Prison Fellowship International coordinated a national conference on prison ministry in Kiev last July. There, 200 people assembled and elected a committee, deciding to choose one representative from each of seven geographic regions.

“I was amazed that they followed a true democratic process,” Nikkel observed. “There were nominations, then a long and heated debate preceding the elections. There were winners, but it was not unanimous. So they broke for prayer, then met again and concluded with a unanimous vote for the chosen representatives.”

He observed that this is a Quaker tradition and that a number of Quaker traditions appear among Soviet Christians.

Christian Radio Programming

In addition, Nikkel said, Prison Fellowship will investigate the possibility, with Trans-World Radio, of broadcasting Christian programming five days a week, by and for prisoners.

“They do have radios in the prisons,” he said, “and we are thinking of initiating Christian fellowship groups within the prisons to gather for the broadcast for learning and encouragement.”


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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

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A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

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

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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.

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All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

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Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

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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...
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