Prayer Needs:

• Pray for true religious freedom to reign as discrimination and prejudices against Christians are rooted out.

 • Pray for the millions who consider themselves  Orthodox to embrace spiritual change and to stand firm on biblical truth.

 • Pray for the work of LCMS missionaries and their work of sharing Jesus through their vocations.

Country Situation:

The largest country on earth, Russia covers over 6.6 million square miles and includes nine time zones. Roughly 135 different languages are spoken among dozens of ethnic groups, with their own dialects, traditions, and perspectives adding a unique sense of diversity. Many social ills plague Russia and bring great suffering to its people. Russia suffers from the world’s second highest abortion rate. There are over 85,000 orphans, and an estimated one million children live on the streets.

Russian Christians are some of the most severely and continuously persecuted in recent history. Today roughly 64% of Russians identify as Orthodox. Evangelicals (1%) can be viewed with skepticism and have been accused of being a “foreign cult.” Though the nation has a long history of Christianity, believers have suffered immense persecution, for a century, with the former Communist regime destroying many churches. While church attendance has doubled since the Iron Curtain fell, persecution is on the rise again. Believers have been banned from meeting outside registered buildings and from any form of proselytism. The law against evangelism has placed restraints on both missionaries and congregations outside of the Russian Orthodox Church. Biblical teachers are still needed to provide sound doctrine. Only God, manifest through his Body, can bring the hope and deliverance this nation seeks.

Sources: ( and

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod began working in Russia in 1992, and in various ways the LCMS assists The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR), The Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC), and The Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is also known as The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Russia and Other States (ELKRAS).

The LCMS also began work in Russia in the early 1990s with a grant to the Women's Consultation Center for pro-life counseling and services.

There are currently career missionaries working in Russia involved in theological education and outreach coordination. They lead training sessions throughout Russia and other Eurasian locations, and the missionaries walk alongside Lutheran churches in the region as their pastors and laypeople explore ways to reach out to their communities with the Gospel.  Current LCMS efforts in Russia also include building up Christian resources, a digital Lutheran library and outreach through music and the arts. . (

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Learn about the LCMS missionaries and the work of the LCMS in Russia.