Population: 142.7 million (2012)
Official language: Russian
Major religion: Christianity (Russian Orthodoxy)
IFES movement: CCX - Russia
Russia is the largest country in the world by territorial area. Life in this country poses many challenges, namely systemic corruption, a large divide between rich and poor, widespread drug addictions and one of the highest suicide rates among young people.
Evangelical Christians make up less than 1 % of the population in Russia, with 5% of the population being Muslims, and some 75 % from an Orthodox Christian background. As such a tiny minority it can be difficult to organise events in colleges or universities because the movement needs permission from the authorities or the Orthodox Church in order to do so.
- 2792 tertiary institutions, more than 7 million students; groups with students from 14 colleges and universities
- 9 full-time, 2 part-time workers and about 10 volunteers
- formal graduates’ ministry started in 2013
- largest group in Chelyabinsk, South Ural (35-40 students); smallest group in Tomsk, Siberia (6-7 students)
CCX is currently looking for a new General Secretary. As it has no official permission for student groups on campus, the movement has to find creative ways of gathering students and reaching out to others.
CCX Russia has faced many difficulties, particularly over the last 7 years, with financial and staffing problems on top of the wider problems of non-denominational evangelical Christian ministry in Russia. This means that apart from the work in 3 cities, much of what is going on at present is re-pioneering. But there is much to praise God for - the students themselves, faithful long serving staff and volunteers with a great love for students, enthusiastic newer staff and volunteers, good relationships with some key churches, and some great plans for the new academic year.
View from the inside
Konstantin Naumov, Director of POSOL, shares about a new training initiative for CCX Russia: ‘This August in Russia we started a new project – POSOL for CCX staff, along with guests from key churches. It is a 10 day leadership training program previously organised and held for students. At POSOL, student leaders are trained to study the Scriptures, share their faith and lead small groups.
- for the movement to keep growing and bearing fruit despite opposition;
- that the leadership program POSOL will develop into a strong resource and a good opportunity to present CCX ministry to the churches in Russia.