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Religion in Russia: Working to make it right

9 June 2010 No Comment

Here is an article that the Editor in Chief of а local newspaper in Cushing, Oklahoma wrote after he met Denis – RRR administrator

Religion in Russia: Working to make it right

Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We’ve got a church on every corner.

We know that’s an exaggeration. The reason for and wisdom behind the number of churches we have in small-town America can be debated. “What, you Christians can’t get along?” is one argument.

This morning, I had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with a young man named Denis Koslov. He’s in his 30s and lives in Russia, where he serves on the board of directors of Russians Reaching Russians, a Christian ministry seeding churches and cultivating ministers throughout Russia.

Denis is a dynamic young man. He tells the most inspiring story of how his life was transformed. He was a troubled youth who never knew his dad and had a mother addicted to alcohol. He and his siblings basically raised themselves. He and his friends would spend the day together at a train station. It was a warm place. This was before the fall of the Iron Curtain.

One day a woman spoke to the kids at the station and invited them to come to a Christian meeting. The kids laughed and made fun of the woman. Another day she asked again. Eventually, the boys agreed to attend.

The boys continued attending the Christian meeting and one day the preacher invited anyone who wanted to give their life to Christ to stand.

Denis admitted thinking about it and, in seconds, “I opened my eyes and I was standing up,” he said. “I looked around and all my friends were also standing. I knew my life had changed that moment.”

The preacher spoke in English and a translator repeated in Russian. After the meetings, Denis would find the preacher and ask question after question.

“It got to the point that the translator didn’t look forward to seeing me. I wore her out translating for me,” he said.

He wanted a Bible. The church told him they would not give him a Bible of his own until he had read the Old Testament three times. One week later, he received his own Bible.

In Russia, there are almost no churches. Protestants number less than 1 percent. Protestant churches typically meet in very small buildings if they can find one to rent.

By far the majority of people will say they are Orthodox but, according to Denis, they never go to church and are really of no religion at all.

This week, we are also fortunate enough to be hosting a group of five people from Italy. One lives in Rome while the others live on the island of Sardegna. In Italy, 95 percent or more of the people are Roman Catholic. Figures. There is a smattering of Protestant and a growing number of Muslim. There really aren’t options in terms of religion. The people there are just basically Catholic.

Also in Italy, there are 40 political parties. We’re trying to connect the dots here. There are 40 political parties and one church. In the United States there are 40 churches and two political parties.

Isn’t it interesting how a peoples’ need for self-expression manifests itself?

There’s a church on every corner. Thank God we have that right … that freedom.

The reasons there are so many churches is probably a man thing. Our freedom to have so many is certainly a God thing.

Soup Anyone?

Marilyn Duff suggests you purchase a soup mug for $10 and come enjoy Downtown Cushing Revitalization Association’s Soup Thyme on Friday.

We say this is suggested by Marilyn for two reasons:

Although Shelley Music is the chairwoman, Marilyn is truly the driver of the promotion, a fundraiser designed to provide money to continue work on Cushing Downtown Centennial Park.

Because not many people can say “no” to Marilyn.

For $10 one can purchase a big, nice commemorative soup mug. Then, on Friday, we get to visit Beasley Technology, Broadway Mall, Copper Penny Trading Co., Cushing Citizen, Edward Jones Investments, Khris Fowler Agency, Mila’s Fabrics, Stu’s Music, Opal’s House of Bargains and Uptown Girls to enjoy the variety of soups and as much of it as you like.

It’s a novel idea and we’re looking forward to it.

As you participate, you may also choose to purchase a cookbook that includes the recipes of all the soups on the tour plus many recipes submitted by DCRA proponents. You can contact Shelley or Marilyn now if you want to purchase a cookbook. The supply is limited.

Habitat Spring Gala

May 22 is the date of the gala. Those attending will enjoy the music of Steve Ham and the Jambalaya Jass Band. We will have lots of delicious food, a fun assortment of different wines and the excitement of a silent and live auction.

Tickets go on sale May 1 and will be available at the Citizen office. Invitations will go out at the same time. We send invitations to those who have attended before but we want you there. If you don’t get an invitation, come purchase a ticket at the Citizen office.

It’s a great entertainment value.

David Reid

link to the article

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