By Editorial Staff
Published July 1, 1998
IN AUGUST 1991, COMMUNIST HARDLINERS led an unsuccessful coup in an attempt to seize power and close the doors of the Soviet Union. We think it’s fitting that the very next day after the coup failed, the first issue of Predvestnik (which means Forerunner or Herald) was printed in Moscow. It was truly the end of an old order and the dawning of a new day.
Since that time, 20 issues of Predvestnik have been produced in the former USSR. After printing the first issue at 100,000 copies, we received many warm responses telling us about its positive effects. The first issue was introductory in character and was mostly used in evangelism rallies throughout the former USSR. We presented the simple Gospel message of Jesus Christ. In the following quarterly issues, which had 16 pages and 20,000 copies each, we covered many deeper topics, including:
- Occult roots and bankruptcy of Marxism (at that time, when the Soviet Union existed, it was rather relevant);
- Cults, the occult and false religions;
- Authority and authenticity of the Bible;
- Creation vs. evolution;
- Philosophy of freedom and democracy;
- Analysis of the Orthodox Church and her positive and negative influences on our culture and society (the Orthodox denomination in Russia and Ukraine has much greater credit with the common people than the yet-weaker Protestant churches);
- History of Christianity.
Each issue contained inspiring and challenging articles, sermons and testimonies of famous teachers and ordinary Christians. The staff tried to keep readers informed of the latest news in the Christian world from all over the planet.
Our distribution network has been growing steadily and now consists of over 30 distributors in seven post-Soviet republics. Among these are individuals, as well as churches and ministries. From these centers, copies of Predvestnik are sent to even further reaches of the post-Soviet Union. We are aiming to expand distribution and to produce a bimonthly newspaper.
It is noteworthy that Predvestnik seems to be in favor with the three largest Protestant mainstreams in the former USSR: Baptists, Pentecostals and Charismatics. Although they have some disagreements between each other, churches of each movement are in the number of our distributors. This is possible because we have been trying to place the emphasis on Jesus Christ Himself and historical orthodoxy, rather than on ideas inherent in a single stream or denomination.
At the early stage of our history, we used many materials from foreign ministers for the newspaper, mostly from Americans. While we consider it important to communicate to our readers the rich heritage of Western Christianity, today it has become clear that people in our country are more responsive to a message which is based upon the Word of God and applied to their particular situation. That means we have to answer people’s needs through messages born in hearts of local Christians, those who know well about life here and the present conditions of our society. This is our main goal for the future: to be a competent source of meaningful, easy-to-apply information about the relevance of Christianity to daily life, from a sound biblical viewpoint.
We believe it would not be hype or exaggeration to say that Predvestnik is a unique publication. While various denominations in Christianity have their own publications in the former USSR, this newspaper stands out as a publication that tries to consider “global” Christianity, placing an emphasis on similarities, not differences, as many have testified. This makes the newspaper appealing and attractive to more people. Predvestnik has made its mark in its short existence. We are becoming well-known in many regions as a unique ministry. We understand that all this is due to God’s grace, to Whom we give all the credit.
The Predvestnik Staff
While studying computer science at Kiev Polytechnical Institute, Alexei oversees the printing, production and business transactions of Predvestnik.
An experienced Christian writer who has traveled extensively through the former USSR, Sergei is responsible for editorial content and distribution of Predvestnik.
Translation and production consultant
In addition to serving as a full-time translator for another Christian mission in Kiev, Roman is a translation and production consultant for Predvestnik.
Did You Know?
- Predvestnik has a wide distribution network covering about 100 regions in 11 post-Soviet countries. See if you can find the following cities where we have distribution centers on the map below:
RUSSIA: Moscow, Anapa, Arkhangelsk, Kalingrad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Murmansk, Naberezhnya Chelny, Nizhny Novgorod, Nizhnikamsk, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Sochi, Stavropol, Vologda
SIBERIAN RUSSIA: Barnaul, Irkutsk, Kemerovo, Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Vladivostok, Yakutsk
UKRAINE: Kiev, Chernigov, Dnieprozherzinsk, Izmail, Lvov, Melitopol, Mukachevo, Rovno, Smela, Sumy
KAZAKHSTAN: Alma Ata, Temirtau
- We have also distributed in all three of the Baltic States, the Far East, Siberia, Moldava and even above the Arctic Circle! Predvestnik has the unique ability to reach many people groups in areas unreached with the Gospel.
- The former USSR has the seventh largest Muslim population in the world. Predvestnik is producing a special newspaper for use in reaching the Muslims in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kirghistan, Turkmenistan, Tadjikstan and along the Volga river valley.
- Russia has the largest Chinese border of any nation. We plan to reach China with a Chinese language version of The Forerunner. We will print this newspaper in Kiev; ship it to Chinese border cities such as Vladivostok; and carry it into China.
- Ukraine is the second largest nation in Europe (besides Russia) and has 53 million people (sixth in population after Russia, Germany, England, France and Italy). We have our widest distribution network in Ukraine covering all regions of the republic.
- There are 280 million people in the former USSR. Most of them are unreached with the Gospel. Predvestnik is expanding into the furthest reaches of the former USSR.
- There are 150 unreached people groups (or nations) in the former USSR – Over 90 percent speak Russian as a primary or secondary language. Predvestnik is having an impact on these unreached peoples.
NOTE: The above article was written in 1998. Since that time, The Forerunner has concentrated on the production of several books and videos in the Russian language as well as a few other missionary projects.
Forerunner - Home » Predvestnik - The Voice of a New Generation
Your comments are welcome!
“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.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
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.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
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.)