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.
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
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“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
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Just what is Calvinism?
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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.
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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.
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
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