Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing prayer updates from Christian leaders in Eastern Europe, a region commonly identified with the nations once part of, or under the influence of, the Soviet Union. 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 2015 Pew Research Center study, 73% of Russia’s 144 million people are Christians (71% Eastern Orthodox), 15% are agnostic or atheist, 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 partner school of our Vital SustainAbility Initiative) and ministers at an Evangelical Baptist church. Alexander and his wife Svetlana have two children: Fedor, who turns twelve next month, and four-year-old Anna.
Alexander shares the following message:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the ScholarLeaders Prayer Community,
Our family thanks each of you for your spiritual support! Today, life in Russia, and all around the world, has been influenced by COVID-19.
Herzen University was closed for more than a month. The pre-defense of my thesis took place without my participation and now I need to make adjustments to the text, because I could not personally answer the Committee’s questions. Therefore, my learning continues. Please support us in prayer so that God will give me wisdom to understand everything and make corrections.
Work at Saint Petersburg Christian University (SPBU) continues. All our students are studying online until the end of this academic year. Our University is going through the same difficulties as most other Evangelical seminaries. Thank God that all SPBU students and staff remain healthy!
Our Church also conducts online services now. We organize online Bible studies, online prayer groups, online homilies, and, of course, online Sunday services. The intensity of the service has not lessened. Thank God that He gives strength and wisdom!
Our family is doing well! We are happy to be together every day, but we are waiting for the time when we can be outdoors more often again!
May God bless you!