BUDAPEST, Hungary – “God has brought the republics of the Soviet Union to a time of evangelistic harvest unparalleled in history, but there are still tremendous obstacles to overcome,” according to a Russian-speaking researcher after intensive study in the Soviet Union.
About 50 participants from post-Marxist countries plus about 130 members of the Lausanne Committee attended a six day summit in September in Budapest, Hungary sponsored by the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelism.
The assessments of the speakers from eight post-Marxist countries is that a religious revival is taking place in parts of Romania, Bulgaria and the Soviet Republics, but not in all post-Marxist countries.
Steve Weber, Eastern European regional director of Issachar, a religious research organization, told the Lausanne Committee that people in the Soviet Republics are crying for forgiveness and salvation to fill the spiritual void created by the death of Marxism.
Peter Kuzmic, a seminary president from Yugoslavia, said that civil wars as well as religious revivals could break out in any part of the new republics of the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe. Kuzmic explained that under communist rule, both nationalism and religion were at best tolerated, and at worst persecuted. “Now, with the collapse of Marxism and with the removal of totalitarianism, whatever has been repressed is now exploding.”
Over and over, participants from post-Marxist countries said that instead of money, they need people who will plant their lives in the Soviet Republics, learn the language, and demonstrate what it means to be a Christian in a post-Marxist society.
Alexander Semchenko, president of a Protestant publishing company in Russia, said one of the greatest needs in the Soviet Republics is literature for Christian education and discipleship training.
Peotr Krauchuk, Baptist superintendent for central Russia, said that during the three days of darkness of the recent coup in the Soviet Union, Christians in Moscow gave out five New Testaments to each of the tank crews guarding the Russian parliament building. Krauchuk said two of the tank crews decided not to drive their tanks any further, and left.
With the removal of totalitarianism, whatever has been repressed is now exploding.