Monday, October 28, 2013

Lutheran Church in Russia

This week we stayed at a Lutheran retreat center. As we closed our training time in prayer we thanked God for this time of openness and freedom in Russia. I realized that in the past 1000 years these last 20 years have been the most open time in history for the gospel in Russia, when people could choose to follow Jesus and make disciples.

The first Lutheran church in Russia was in Moscow in 1576. By the end of the 17th century there were a number of other churches in Russia. Both Peter the Great and Catherine the Great made concessions to the German Lutheran population. They brought Germans to Russia to pioneer frontier areas and to farm the land and improve technology. They were allowed to prozelytize only non-Russians and there was a law that if an Orthodox person married a Lutheran, the children would be Orthodox.