By Editorial Staff
Published October 1, 1990
Counting 500 Days to Freedom
The Supreme Soviet legislature adopted a radical plan in September to move beyond merely reforming their socialist economy, toward creating a Western-style free-market economy within 500 days.
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev initially embraced free-market economics to give the sagging Soviet Union a boost, but now radical reformers, such as Russian Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin and economics professor Stanislav Shatalin, have passed legislation that will eventually bring death to socialism.
The proposal for reformation, drawn up by Shatalin and passed by the Russian parliament led by Yeltsin, calls for dismantling the power of the central government and selling businesses to private owners and breaking up collective farms. This spells the end of Gorbachev’s dream of perestroika: the restructuring of the Soviet economy by implementing free-market economics – yet retaining a socialist framework.
Other sweeping changes include allowing Gorbachev to wield powers affording him the authority of a dictator during the time of transition. These powers were deemed necessary by the Supreme Soviet legislature in order to help the nation toward making the drastic turnover. Gorbachev has promised to use the powers responsibly.
With the decentralizing of the Soviet government, according to Shatalin’s plan, the 15 separate Soviet republics will have economic and political autonomy, with the government of the Soviet Union controlling only the military and certain communications, transportation and energy companies. Although many of the details must still be worked through during the transition, in 500 days the Soviet government will become less socialistic than many western nations.
With little or no time to lose in resurrecting the fast failing Soviet economy, Gorbachev and rival party leader Yeltsin have struck a deal. Yeltsin, if the transition goes smoothly, will emerge as the country’s leader and Gorbachev’s power will become greatly decreased in the transition. Gorbachev will eventually become a type of foreign minister relating to nations of the world and representing the people of the Soviet Union.
The 15 separate Soviet republics will be given greater freedom to act independently, almost like a union of confederate states rather than a single republic. People groups as diverse as the central Asian states, the Baltic states, and “fringe” nations such as the Ukraine and Moldavia, will be given the freedom to run their own economies and elect their own government officials.
Soviet Union Experiencing Unprecedented Revival
Soviet citizens are flocking to church in record numbers since the state control of religion officially ended in late September. By a 341-1 vote, the Soviet legislature adopted historic legislation which ended the communist policy of atheist education and state control of all religious institutions and permits organized religious instruction.
In another historic move, the first church service was held in the Kremlin’s Uspensky Cathedral since 1918. Since the days of Lenin and Stalin, communist officials have persecuted the church in the Soviet Union, executed and persecuted Christians and infiltrated churches with KGB agents.
Christian leaders currently hold political offices in the national legislature, such as dissident priest Gleb Yakunin, who was jailed and exiled during the Brezhnev era. A number of Christian Democratic political parties have also emerged, all of which are now legal.
Armenian legislator, Genrikh Igitian recently stated that traditional atheistic instruction helped to “destroy” the country and said, “I believe every educated person should be instructed in religion.”
The new law on “Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” declares that all religions are legal and bars the state from interfering in religious affairs. The law also allows religious groups to set up schools, send students overseas, and receive exchange students. It also permits “societies, brotherhoods, associations” and other organizations.
So what are you waiting for?
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Russia, Ukraine and former USSR
Your comments are welcome!
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — 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.)
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.)
“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.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)