"Two separations significant for World Christendom commemorated their 50th birthdays on 13 August: the construction of the Berlin Wall and the splitting up of the “All-Union Council of Evangelical Christians-Baptists”. On 18 August, in one of two major Russian-language commentaries on the second event, Moscow’s Mikhail Cherenkov celebrated in the news service “Protestant” the maverick and courageous spirit of the underground, “Initiativniki” Baptist movement. He described them as a “mighty spiritual” and “radical reformist” movement and exclaimed: No one could have expected that an “anti-church directive” put out by the All-Union Council could “invoke such massive resistance on the local-church level”. Who would have reckoned that “simple, uneducated, inexperienced pastors from the most remote of provinces could organise a resistance movement capable of engulfing the entire Soviet Union?” Cherenkov compares its martyrs to the early church fathers who died with “For Christ alone!” on their lips. The Initiativniki were in any case also part of the “down with Moscow” sentiment still alive in the wide expanses of Russia."

The author also compares three of Moscow’s newest Baptist congregations.

Finally, he discusses the rehabilitation of large numbers of addicts by Protestant churches in Russia.



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