Geography

The Russian Federation is the world’s largest country, extending across nine time zones. The population is 140 million.

Peoples

91% of the population is Eurasian, which includes Slavic and Russian. The literacy rate is 99%. The offcial language is Russian. There are 135 languages spoken in Russia. Six languages have the entire Bible translated, 19 have the New Testament, 47 have portions of Scripture translated, 21 have a work in progress. That leaves 42 languages with no portion of Scripture translated.

Economy

Average annual income is $11,807 per person, per year which is 25% of the USA average

Politics

Russia has known little but autocracy or tyranny since it became a country in the 8th Century. Imperialist Russia collapsed in 1917, shortly before the Bolshevik Communist revolution. Russia dominated the USSR from its founding in 1922, and the Communist leadership exploited the Russian people as well as the many ethnic groups and satellite states it seized or controlled. A multiparty federal democracy was instituted in 1990. The subsequent decade was a tense tug of war between various forces in Moscow. Freedom of the press and media is limited; all television stations are government controlled or strongly self-censored.

Religion

The Church in Russia has suffered some of the most severe and sustained persecution of any nation in recent history. Deaths in the Gulag (prison camps) between 1920 and 1990 are reckoned at 20 million. Up to 200,000 Christian leaders were martyred. Of the 100,000 church-owned buildings in 1920 (mainly Orthodox), almost none, by 1940, were in use by Christians; they had been seized or destroyed. Today, freedom of religion is written into the constitution, as is the equality of all religions. In reality, this is not the case. Orthodoxy’s 1,000-year history as part of the culture of Russia gives the Church enormous political influence.

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