Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Forerunner

Delegation to Soviets: Release Christian dissident prisoners

By Editorial Staff
Published April 1, 1988

DE BURGHT, Holland – A direct request was made to Soviet authorities for the release of Soviet Christians imprisoned for their faith at the first international consultation of “Human Rights and International Cooperation” in January, attended by unofficial representatives of thirteen countries, including the Soviet Union and the United States. Delegates included former First Lady Rosalyn Carter, a number of congressmen, and various religious leaders.

The Soviet delegation agreed to examine a list of 250 known religious prisoners convicted under laws of “religious activity” presented by U.S. Congressmen Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ). The list was accepted by Soviet delegate Yuri Smirnov, a member of the Council on Religious Affairs and the U.S.S.R. Council of Ministers, but Western delegates were reminded that the Soviets hold a different view on the religious prisoners issue. “Many prisoners on your list are criminals who are also religious people trying to find a defense on religious grounds,” said Fedor Burlatsky, chairman of the recently formed Soviet Commission on Humanitarian Problems and Human Rights and expert advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev during the Geneva, Reykjavik, and Washington summits.

Though the three-day meeting was cordial and non-confrontive, Western delegates continued to press the Soviets for action regarding religious prisoners. In the final hours of the De Burght consultation, Western delegates proposed that the final communique on the conference include a statement indicating the West’s desire to see a complete amnesty for religious prisoners on the occasion of the millennial celebration. The motion was followed by heated debate on both sides and was finally withdrawn by the U.S. delegates upon assurance by the Soviet delegation that the issue would be discussed in Moscow immediately following their return and a report on the status of each prisoner would be released soon.

The cause of religious prisoners in the Soviet Union and the basic right to worship without government control or intervention were major issues of concern to the delegates present at the consultation.

Although the dialogue between the East and West was intended to find areas of mutual understanding on a broad range of human rights-related issues, including terrorism, unemployment, and environmental problems, it was the issue of religious freedom as a basis for all human rights that clearly divided the West from the East, according to an Open Doors News Service report.

Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter, a member of the U.S. delegation and keynote speaker, said, “[Religious freedom] is an elementary right which no government can violate.” This elicited a charged response from Fedor Burlatsky, a Soviet advisor, who cited “civil and political rights” without which “each individual cannot hope for improved working conditions and [there can be] no betterment of human economic standards.” He accused the American government of focusing too much on individual rights related to social problems and said, “Americans will not take up the burden for millions of unemployed individuals.”

Burlatsky’s failure to make any mention of religious rights in his speech was cited by several Western delegates, including Lutheran clergyman Richard Neuhaus, who commented that without the presence of religious rights a government cannot expect to have long-term survival. “We must not speak of every human problem as a human rights problem,” he said, quoting excerpts from Carter’s speech. “The problems of homelessness are not human rights problems.”

At a press conference following the conclusion of the De Burght consultation, Andrei Grachev, section leader of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, said,“Rather than declaring an amnesty for 18 or 200 individuals,” the intention of the Soviet authorities was that in the future “no innocent person, in the East or West, would be persecuted for his beliefs, including religious beliefs.”

Burlatsky said in his final remarks to journalists that the conference was a “manifestation of the triumph of the spirit of constructiveness, the spirit of searching for mutually acceptable solutions and the spirit of concessions, … We listened attentively to expressions … on the problem of human rights addressed to the Soviet Union on the part of Western countries and the United States.” He described the conference as a commission which consisted of “enthusiasts who would like to work … for the deepening of glasnost in the Soviet Union and for consistent implementation of human rights in the Soviet Union.”

Members of the Western delegation expressed more restraint in their evaluation on the conference. Congressman Chris Smith said he was encouraged by the “one-on-one contact with key players” of the Soviet delegation over the three-day period. “I believe we had moments of real dialogue [with the Soviets]; it wasn’t just an exercise in rhetoric. Expectations are that something good will come out of it.”

The De Burght consultation, organized by Dutch businessman, Ernst van Eeghen, and Landrum Bolling, president of the Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem, was also sponsored by several European evangelical mission groups, including Open Doors International and Christian Solidarity, which are noted for their work on behalf of Christians in the Soviet Union and other restricted countries.


Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Russia, Ukraine and former USSR

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

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.

Running Time: 257 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

$12.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

Search this site:
View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube


Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...


View My Stats