This week, please pray with us for Alexander Belyaev in Russia.
A political and economic giant that straddles two continents, Russia is the world’s largest country by land mass. According to a 2017 Pew Research Center study, 73% of Russia’s 144 million people are Christians (71% Eastern Orthodox), 15% are unaffiliated, and 10% are Muslims. Russia’s religious landscape not only reflects its rich Orthodox Christian heritage, but also the state atheism of its recent Soviet past.
Alexander is pursuing a PhD in Religious Studies from Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia. For his dissertation, Alexander is investigating early Christian apocalyptic understandings of Jesus Christ. The central question of his research is: “How and why is Jesus Christ worshiped in the Book of Revelation?” Alexander’s work will not only contribute to historical scholarship on the worship of Christ, but also enrich liturgical practices today.
While conducting doctoral research, Alexander also serves as Vice Rector of Academic Affairs at Saint Petersburg Christian University (a client of the Vital SustainAbility Initiative) and ministers at an Evangelical Baptist church. Alexander and his wife Svetlana have a thirteen-year-old son, Fedor, and a five-year-old daughter, Anna.
Alexander shares the following message:
Dear ScholarLeaders Prayer Community,
I thank God for opening the opportunity to be part of the large ScholarLeaders family. We feel your prayer support and thank God for you!
My training is progressing well. Last year, my dissertation was successfully pre-defended, and it has now been submitted to the dissertation council for consideration. Last year, I managed to publish an article, “Rehearsal of the Apocalypse: Christians of the Post-Soviet Regions about Covid-19.”
Evangelical Christianity in Russia is now going through interesting times. On the one hand, the state has adopted various “restrictive” laws, such as the law on missionary activity and the law banning churches of the “New Generation” as “undesirable” on Russian Federation territory.
On the other hand, there are hopeful changes in the field of theological education. Recently, the Russian government officially registered the Council for Protestant Theology, which includes leaders of major Protestant denominations and theological schools. This gives hope that spiritual educational organizations will soon be able to have state-accredited programs in Protestant theology.
(1) Please pray for the Evangelical churches in Russia and their work, in accordance with the current legislation of the Russian Federation.
(2) Pray for spiritual education in Russia, so that various institutes and universities could have state-accredited programs in Protestant theology.
(3) Pray for the preparation of the teaching staff at religious educational organizations. Pray that they can have an education that is recognized by the state.
(4) Please pray for the successful completion of my studies and for my dissertation defense.
(5) Pray for my family and for the health of my children.
With love in Christ,