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Russian Christmas

Russia, has been on my mind. I have never been there and frankly never really have thought much about the country or it's people. Recently my heart and mind has turned towards this vast land.

The Lord is doing something, I  just don't know what He is designing. As I have learned this year, I will "get up and go" and then I will find out my assignment.  No I am not going to Russia, yet!

 I am intrigued however. 


Here are a few Russian Christmas facts;
  • Christmas was banned throughout Russia in 1917. 
  • The winter holidays were celebrated as a New years holiday
  • In 1992, Seventy-five years later, the holiday officially was given permission to be celebrated. 
  • Christmas is celebrated around January 7
Recently a poll (Deutsche Welle) interviewed 1000 Russians regarding how they view Christmas.
  • Over 80% celebrate Christmas
  • One third see themselves as religious (They go to church on holidays)
  • 3% say they are deeply religious
  • 11% are atheist
  • 6% are not religious but observe Christian traditions (weddings, baptisms)
People in Russia are very much like Americans! 
They are Religious- 
Religious
1.imbued with or exhibiting religion; pious; devout; godly: a religious man.
2.scrupulously faithful; conscientious: religious care.
3.pertaining to or connected with a monastic or religious order.
4.appropriate to religion or to sacred rites or observances.
This is where we all need to be reminded that being a Christian, a follower of Christ,  is about a relationship. 

We need a Relationship- 

Relationship

1.a connection, association, or involvement.
2.connection between persons by blood or marriage.

We have been given a gift from Jesus to have a relationship with Him. He gave us this gift by coming to us as a baby and leaving us as a servant, a shepherd, the one who has died so that we may live. 

This year may we offer Him more than a religious affiliation and give to him the relationship of our hearts and lives.
There are some exciting things happening for Jesus in Russia.

Pray for these ministries as they extend the love and grace of Jesus!

Moscow Good News Church  is making an impact and changing lives.

Russian Ministries Is living out the good news by coming alongside of people and sharing the love of Christ.
Father, thank you for giving us the gift of Jesus!  I pray for the people in Russia and here in the United States who know about someone called Jesus but do not have a relationship with Him. Make yourself known this Christmas! Empower your people to love and share with others.  Thank you for being so much more than a religion!
Jann

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