President Bush’s foreign advisers are expecting a strong reemergence of Christianity in Russia, bringing with it a moral framework that has long been missing from Soviet political life.
This revival is coming at a time when the moral problems of this society threaten to hinder positive change. Alcoholism, in particular, is a serious problem – the life expectancy of Soviet men was 10 years lower than that of men in the West during the 1970s. This is partially due to the hard drinking of a large portion of the population.
Now Soviet leaders are looking for positive moral guidance. Evangelist Billy Graham met with Soviet leaders Gorbachev and Yeltsin in July. Both leaders had told Graham of the need for “some philosophy, some religion, an inner strength” for their society.
For the first time in 70 years, Christians are allowed to be involved in the political life of the republics. Although Gorbachev himself claims to be an atheist, the burgeoning spiritual awakening is sure to have an effect on all levels of Soviet society including its political leadership.