By Editorial Staff
Published May 1, 1988
In the Soviet Union, China and Cuba, the Christian movement began to push back the tide of communism. What follows are news reports from those countries:
In the midst of the pomp and fanfare of the 1000th birthday of Christianity in Russia, the younger generation in the Soviet Union is apparently showing a growing interest in spiritual matters. “There has been a religious revival among the young people,” said deputy Chief Father Vladimir of the Russian Orthodoxy’s main monastic center.
Young Russians are increasingly interested in joining the clergy, according to Time magazine, and they are attending church in unprecedented numbers. For example, at a monastery that reopened as a church after a period of government control, two-fifths of the congregation is in their 20’s and 30’s.
The growing interest in Christianity among the youth during the state-sanctioned celebration may stem from boredom, disillusionment, and cynicism – which the Soviet government is acknowledging as a problem.
This is most definitely a far cry from the rhetoric of past Soviet regimes, which predicted a total eradication of faith and Christianity by this date. As millions of nationals celebrate the arrival of the Christian gospel in the Soviet Union, and as young people return to the churches in record numbers, it will most likely open the doors for even more lively discussion in the Kremlin about the future of the USSR.
A spiritual awakening is taking place in the People’s Republic of China which has been attracting the attention of the concerned government for several years. The growth of Christianity in this country is occurring at record rates. Today there are an estimated 50 million believers in China, and at this present rate of growth the number may surpass 100 million in 14 years time.
What does the future hold for China? Although government restrictions are not likely to stop overnight, it is very likely that policies will become more relaxed as government officials become Christians. Reports are already being circulated about officials in all levels of the communist government who are having personal encounters with Jesus Christ.
On one of the most prestigious campuses in the People’s Republic of China, Beijing University, students instigated the destruction of a four-story tall statue of revolutionary leader Mao Tse Tung. Destruction of the statue was perceived by university officials as a move to lessen the late leader’s influence. A middle aged professor who helped erect the statue in 1967 said, “It’s a symbol of an era, and that era is over. Taking it down is only natural.”
The moral leadership of Cuban Christians is gaining them respect in the eyes of state officials, according to a U.S. missionary leader who visited Cuban churches in January.
“The state is gradually recognizing the positive moral strength of the evangelical church and is showing an openness to the churches’ request for standing before governmental agencies,” says Gordon Johnson, president of Rio Grande Bible Institute and Language School in Edinburg, Texas.
Johnson, who has made 24 trips to Latin America, says that a change in attitude toward evangelical churches was noted in 1985 when a Brazilian Catholic priest, Frei Betto, interviewed Fidel Castro. “For the first time, Castro spoke of religion not necessarily as the ‘opiate of the people,’ but as a possible positive force in building a socialist state. This acceptance of ‘religion’ has lent a certain credence to evangelicals,” says Johnson.
In the Philippines the gospel is changing the lives of huge numbers of people who in turn are changing the course of their nation’s history. With all of its poverty, factional political disputes, and problems left over from the Marcos period, the Philippines is a land of hope and opportunity.
A new president in February, 1986, replaced the corruption-ridden dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos as the result of concentrated days of national prayer. A revitalized military is headed by outspoken Christians who are making their mark in that institution. Pastors who had been uninvolved outside of their pulpits are now in the forefront of exposing the deceptions of communism from the light of Scripture.
The spiritual awakening occurring in the Philippines is incomprehensible to the communists who assume the spiritual dimension of man to be irrelevant. They may never know why their apparatus, so painstakingly built up over the years, faces what could be a steady, and even rapid collapse. The next two years are not likely to be good ones for being a communist in the Philippines, but there is no doubt that they will be a great time for the Christians.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Tenth Anniversary Issue
Your comments are welcome!
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
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.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)