Thursday, December 6, 2007
Putin's sway grows stronger in Russia; ministry concerned
Russia-Parliamentary elections in Russia could spell trouble for mission groups. The outcome of Sunday's vote is bad news for the West, as there are few allies left in power in the government. That, coupled with the association of Christianity with the West, and Slavic Gospel Association's Joel Griffith calls the results of the parliamentary elections "troubling.""That certainly is going to bear watching, because obviously if you have an anti-Western Parliament in place and if the government begins to really step up in being anti-Western, it certainly could have an impact on missionaries overseas. Who knows what effect it will have on Bible-preaching churches?" President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party was guaranteed 300 of the State Duma's 450 seats, giving the party the two-thirds majority needed to modify the constitution.There's a marked contrast in the makeup of the incoming and outgoing government body, too.The incoming Duma consists of:United Russia, 315 seats; Communists, 57; Liberal Democrats 40; Just Russia 38.The outgoing Duma looked more diverse: Kremlin-backed United Russia, 299 seats; Kremlin-sympathetic Communists, 47; nationalistic Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, 39; populist Just Russia, 33. Smaller parties, independent lawmakers, 32. Ten seats are vacant due to resignations.That means that Communists remain the only true opposition to President Putin in the parliament. Although they support his stance in foreign relations, they are scathing about his economic and social policies.While Russia has not yet resurrected the Iron Curtain, there are concerns about the changes coming. "In a lot of regions, churches are able to function and worship and evangelize without much interference. But in other regions of Russia, you might well get opposition from local authorities. So it just remains to be seen what this new Parliament will do."SGA serves Bible-preaching churches in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, helping native pastors and churches reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As in the days of Noah...