By Editorial Staff
Published December 1, 1988
MOSCOW, USSR (NIRR) – What began as a trickle when Mikhail Gorbachev took power in 1985, has become a torrent this year. Russian-language Bibles have disappeared from shops and warehouses in the West; virtually all have been shipped to the Soviet Union, and a huge backlog of unfilled orders is piling up. There is plenty of unused capacity at plants that print Bibles, but demand is running far ahead of funding. Michael Bordeaux of Keston College says, “The church was caught unprepared for this window of opportunity.”
Already, more Bibles and other literature have gone to the USSR this year than in all the years from the late 1920s through 1987. A “system” is involved in legal shipments: requests for literature by Soviet church groups, after approval by authorities, are channeled to Bible societies and missions. An organization may bear all or part of the costs of production and shipping. Because of this overlap among groups, it is difficult to track totals (two or three groups may list the same request or shipment in their respective records). The United Bible Societies office serves as a clearinghouse for most orders and, through its member societies, picks up much of the tab.
Records indicate additional requests pending shipment next year to Soviet Churches. Open Doors International has a request for one million Testaments from the Russian Orthodox Church; shipments were to begin this fall, with completion within a year. International Bible Translations in Sweden, in cooperation with other groups, has been providing small supplies of Bibles in Soviet minority languages.
Slavic Gospel Association (SGA) in Wheaton, Illinois, the largest publisher of Christian books in Russian, has sent the Baptist union 160,000 volumes by C.S. Lewis, Billy Graham, Josh McDowell, Warren Wiersbe, and others, along with 60,000 study Bibles. An additional 100,000 books and Bibles are in the pipeline. SGA has translated and printed 20 titles so far.
Unofficial shipments of Bibles and literature are being supplied by other mission and emigrant groups (such as the Georgi Vins ministry serving primarily unregistered Baptists), but leaders decline to disclose figures. The Bibles are supplied at no charge to the official church groups, which in turn usually sell them to individuals, partly to help support church work, partly to deter black marketeering. Prices can be high in comparison to weekly wages, but will come down as supplies increase.
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“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.
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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?
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What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
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Running Time: 40 minutes
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
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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?
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