Russian Forerunner almost shut down by coup attempt

An update on the beginning of Predvestnik

MOSCOW (FR) – Predvestnik is now an officially registered Christian youth newspaper in the USSR. The first printing of this publication amounted to 100,000 copies; these are being distributed in over 100 cities throughout Russia and many of the other Republics. However, since the first run of newspapers occurred during the last week of August, it was not accomplished without resistance from the Communist coup attempt led by Genadi Yenayev.

Alexey Salapatov, the managing editor of Predvestnik, was in Moscow during the week of the “Second Russian Revolution” in order to facilitate the printing of the first edition. According to Alexey: “Communism contributed its mite to prevent us.”

Ordering a halt to the printing of all newspapers in the USSR, Yenayev placed Communist troops around the building in which Predvestnik was due to be printed. All paper and supplies were seized. When the coup failed, the orders to print Predvestnik were reissued. However, all the red ink that would have been used in printing the first newspaper had been irretrievably lost.

Rather than wait for extra supplies to be ordered in the slow moving Soviet system, Alexey decided to print the 100,000 copies of the first run of Predvestnik in blue and black ink only.

The first issue of Predvestnik is an eight page newspaper. Some of the articles included are as follows:

  • Voice of the New Generation – This article summarizes the current spiritual awakening which is now taking place among Russia’s youth. Millions of Russian Bibles have been distributed in the Soviet Union by Western ministries in an attempt to evangelize the Russian people. Questions are posed – such as: “Are these Bibles being read and understood?” – “Are there biblical answers for the problems which confront our nation?”
  • Worldview – An explanation of Biblical worldview is given. There is a Biblical paradigm for every discipline taught in the school curriculum. “Now that the philosophy of Marxist-Leninism has fallen, what worldview will replace it?”
  • Christian Youth International – A brief history of this student movement is given. The dates of upcoming monthly conferences in Moscow are given, and students are invited to attend.
  • Who is Jesus Christ? – The Russian people are now grasping for Truth in a spiritual vacuum. The claims of New Age, materialist dialectics, and false religion are brushed aside. A Biblical view of the claims of Jesus Christ – the Son of God – is presented.
  • Alexander Bolotnikov Testifies – Born a Ukrainian Jew, Alex studied in a Jewish seminary for two years before giving his life to Jesus Christ. (His testimony appears in English in The Forerunner, Summer 1991.) Alex now plans to begin Messianic Jewish Fellowships throughout the USSR.
  • The Christian Idea of Man and Government – An adaptation from Verna Hall’s work on the U.S. Constitution, this is the first part of a series of articles on Biblical Christianity and how the writings of Christian philosophers have influenced civil government.

Predvestnik is now one of the major Christian publications in the Soviet Union. Due to the labor of the newspaper’s staff, mass literature evangelism among the Russian speaking youth of the Soviet Union is now a reality.

The next edition of Predvestnik is due out in November; the plan is to do a 16 page, bi-monthly edition in blue, red and black ink which will look similar to The Forerunner. Extra finances are now being raised to tie everything together. The remaining needs are as follows:

1. Finances for the first few press runs. The first few press runs are in need of financial support from American supporters.

2. A laser printer and photo-copier. These two tools make life much easier for an editor. Predvestnik’s staff will have the best equipment available for their needs.

If you would like to see a sample copy of the new 16-page Russian language Forerunner, or, if you are interested in supporting this work financially, write:

The Forerunner
P.O. Box 1799
Gainesville, FL 32602

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