tv Christian World News TLN January 3, 2012 9:00pm-9:30pm PST
>> today on world "christian world news" orthodox christians are celebrating plus revival in russia. we'll take you at one of the largest and fastest growing evangelical congregations in that country. and journey with us to the coldest places on earth. see how a fiery passion for the lord still burns among the tribe in the northern tundra. hello everyone, welcome to this special edition of "christian world news" i am george thomas. as many people around the world celebrate the new year, orthodox christians are getting ready to
celebrate their christmas. from kosovo to ethiopia, millions will gather to honor the birth of christ on january 7th. in russia some are bringing a deeper understanding of the holiday. >> cold and snowy, out on the streets they are celebrating the birth of jesus christ. >> christmas means joy. this is when jesus revealed himself to human kind. >> like christians elsewhere, the russian orthodox church celebrates its christmas on january 7th according to the old julianne calendar, russians take part in an all-night mass. >> christmas banned all throughout russia. in 1992, the holiday was
officially celebrated. >> not everyone is familiar with the christmas story. in some corners of the city, the emphasis is on reaching those that have never encountered the true meaning of christmas. one of the largest churches tells a modern day version of the story of christ's birth. we use this whole time from the first of january to seventh of january to tell people about jesus. >> for many it is their first time to hear jesus. >> i have never heard this story before. it is moving and professional. >> this is my first time being in a church. i found it very entertaining. >> others are focussing on the next generation through project hope, russian ministries is handing out 50,000 christmas presents in needy children, street kids and orphans
throughout russia. each box is filled with toys, schools supplies and childrens' bible and other literature geared for kids. >> we partner with more than 200 churches across russia to bring the good news about jesus christ and his birth to many children. >> all with the hope of reaching out to change lives for christ at christmas. >> most russians belong to the orthodox church. since communism fell, the church has fell in size and influence and its relationship with the russian government has improved significantly. >> for eight years, uli sitco, they ran the largest church. now he worries.
>> collapse of communism was supposed to usher in a greater sense of freedom. >> what makes christians very uncomfortable is the cozy relationship between the russian government and russian orthodox church. >> for example, government unvailed churches in public schools. then the russian president announced an initiative to appoint all of those chaplains to our units. our constitution states no religion can be a religion state. >> media has played a key role showing the leaders attending church services. >> this man knows both men both, head of russia's pentecostal
union, he worries the influence is coming at the expense of religious freedom, such as christians, jews, muslims and buddhist. >> there are so many laws that regulate religious life. if christians and buy a piece of land to build a church. >> orthodox church has had it easy after decades of state persecution. churches destroyed during the soviet era are being rebuilt with russian tax payor money. the government has spend hundreds of millions of dollars restoring 23,000 churches. most belong to the orthodox church. we found a mix of the growing bond of church and state. >> i belong to the church. we need to look at the islamic
countries in the middle east to see the danagers of such a strong relationship between religion and state. >> a human advocate -- they are on a mission to expand powers and influence. >> the new head of the russian orthodox church is going to depart from the old image as a museum religion old and out of date. ♪ ♪ orthodox's church biggest rivals are the churches that are having the biggest growth. >> in the as christianity in russia on the rise, one church
in russia reaching thousands. the good new church is the fastest growing congregations in the country. >> in a land where the russian orthodox church dominants, one evangelical charismatic church is creating spiritual waves. >> protestant movement growing very strongly. >> americans are at the forefront of the movement. 1991 is this couple moved their family to the former soviet union with a goal of reaching russians with the gospel of jesus christ. nine years later, they started moscow good news church in the russian capitol city. >> it is 3500 people in attendance. >> that is large for russia.
something different happens at moscow good news. those from orthodox background find the evangelical church community a whole new experience. >> some are shocked. some think wow, i have only seen this in movies. >> along with the preaching of the gospel, worship and style of music is a big draw, too. >> come to church, we have music. >> gospel music? >> in addition to the main service, they have an active childrens' ministry that puts on performances about the life of christ and an entire church just to reach it will elderly. >> despite the tremendous success of moscow good news church, it faces a huge public problem.
charismatic churches are often considered cults. >> they put laws on the books to restrict religious freedom. they view the churches as competitors, they side with the government trying to limit evangelical church growth. >> the orthodox church doesn't have a good opinion. it has to change. it is that sentiment that hope lead to more russians embracing the message of jesus christ. >> capitolism has come. many people have made and lost amounts of money. they have found out it is not the answer to all their problems. there is a new wave of interest in spiritual things. coming up on "christian world news" we continue our focus on russia, decades ago, prisoners cried out to god. find out how he is answering those prayers today.
in 1949, thousands of prisoners were order to a siberian camp to built a railway. now a russian pastor has built a church on the very spot that housed many of the prisoners. >> 1949, stallin has reason to believe his place in soviet history is secured. >> railway was the project of soviet dictator joseph stallin. >> his plan was to join the eastern and russian plans of russia. thousands of political prisoners were sent here.
>> among them, this man's grandfather. >> my grandfather was labeled an enemy of the state and sentenced to 10 years in a labor camp. >> 1200 miles northeast of moscow, sellcarte is the only town in the world on the arctic circle. temperatures plum et to minus 60 degrees. so it was an ideal place to stash away stallin's political enemies. >> most of the labor camps located in the isolated regions of the arctic. soon those that worked on the railway faced these harsh conditions. >> millions of mosquitos in the summer and par sites. >> joseph stallin dies at 74.
>> construction on the railway stopped in 1953 after stallin's death. the damage was done. the grandfather dies along with tens of thousands of others. >> people call this the railway of death because many could ntd hand the death. christians were also killed. >> we have eyewitness accounts of secret meetings. they prayed for this harsh region. >> they moved to sellcarte to honor the memory of his grandfather and countless that died in siberian labor camps. >> they prayed one day they would reach the gospels of this land. today we are seeing the fruits of the prayers. >> fruit is the good news
church. a thriving congregation risen in the heart of the tundra led by the pastor. >> people are turning to the lord, people delivered from alcohol and drugs. >> the location of pastor antole's church very significant. this exact spot used to hold thousands of political as well as religious prisoners in labor camps. >> to have a spiritual center, house of worship in this location is not symbolic, but strategic. >> in partnership with associaton for spiritual renewal which focuses on bringing the gospel to the former society yet union, they bring the next generation of christian leaders. >> we have a program called schools without walls preparing
young and women going into ministry. we equip disciples. >> good news church is training young people like this 25-year-old girl to be effective missionaries. >> my heart is to share the gospel with the no maddic tribes. i have to understand their culture. good news church has been working with these tribes for years. >> you'll find them reaching no maddic villages. >> you can actually get to this remote part of the siberian tundra. what we are on right now is a huge frozen lake. >> it took us four hours to travel less than 60 kilometers. it was worth it.
these tribes were once forgotten, not anymore. >> they take regular trips to deliver food, clothe and medical supplies. on this particular trip, the pastor will share communion with a no maddic family that he recently introduced to jesus christ. >> we are the only ones to take part in communion is special to my family. >> back in sellcarte, they are extending the influence to those living with hiv aids. this is all part of the desire to continue the legacy of those that came before him and during hardship and persecution to see the gospel preached in siberia and beyond. >> that is what i stand on. those prayers of the prisoners. i believe god's kingdom will
world. >> in many ways it is. >> no roads here. people use frozen lakes and rivers to get around. >> latitude 70 degrees north. longitude 70 degrees east. the yamal peninsula sits in the deep frozen tundra above the arctic circle. i am putting on my last layer of clothing. >> temperatures here fluctuates minus 30 fahrenheit. it is a little after 6:00 a.m. peter hoody, our siberian guide
does last minute checks. >> that right there folks is reindeer skin. this is our slay. in essence, this is how we are traveling into the tundra on the back. >> the sleigh is attached to a snow mobile. >> i have to make sure we have enough rope in case we get stuck. >> is this dangerous? >> yes, it is. destination this morning a four-hour journey deep into the wilderness to meet a no maddic family. we stop for a brief moment. >> it is 9:25 in the morning and the sun has yet to rise. we are hoping to catch that
before it rises. let's go. >> sun shines only for a few hours during the winter. when it appears, normally around noon, sun rise, it is something to behold. >> this is a special place. >> peter belongs to the largest tribe called the ninets. he is a christian. for the last few years he has been sharing the gospel of jesus christ with his tribe and others who live here in the tundra. >> when i became a christian, god gave me a new heart. i go out on my snow mobile meeting these families telling them about jesus christ. >> the word ninet means child of a deer. >> this is the life blood for these people. their meat as well as their skin
gives a lot of money for the villages. >> everything comes from them. without reindeer, we cannot survive. >> learning how to survive in the tundra begins at a young age. >> all of my children were taught how to live in the harsh conditions. >> women take care of cooking, sewing clothes and putting up tp's. the men are hunters. the entire family is involved. hide used to make tp's and clothes. blood and raw raindeer meet are often consumed. >> he comes here to tell us
about god. we have good conversations. >> he is supported by a local siberian church and russian ministries. an organization focussed on spreading the gospel in the former soviet union. >> i brought presents for all the children. each box filled with toys, school supplies and a children's bible. >> modern technology such as cell phone and generator have made life easier on the tundra. >> before i had to rely on reindeer to get around. the snow mobile allows me to get around. >> peter estimates 500 ninet people have accepted the lord in recent years. >> thousands more who have yet to hear about jesus. >> for now help continues to
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