Methodism Revival in Russia

This post is also available in: Russian

Methodism and Russia… Russian Methodism… Russian Methodist Church…As recently as twenty years ago, those words would not be imagined together, much less be a subject of a debate.

As with anything related to religion, faith, and spirituality, broader issues of individual freedoms and human rights arise in the vastness of the Russian psyche. Therefore, it was that much harder to ponder. In the land where religious freedom was, perhaps, the last thing on people’s minds for over 80 years, where daily hardships and lack of basic necessities overtook every thought and overshadowed anything more profound than the question of how to survive, Methodism was neither the first nor the last reason for Russian people to soul-search. Methodism did, however, provide a tremendous outlet for that very innate inclination for the Russian soul to explore its mysteries.

As this site demonstrates, Methodism has been a part of Russian spiritual life for over a century. It has a deep historical connection with the country that has been oscillating between mandatory atheism, with churches being destroyed and anyone exhibiting interest in church and religion blacklisted, exiled or killed, and political strategies being endorsed by religious leaders, with quite sudden evaporation of separation between church and state.

Just as suddenly as Methodism had vanished in the 1920s, it was resurrected in the 1990s. Whether by chance or pure providence, depending on one’s believes, Russian people have encountered Methodism at the precise moment of the greatest vacuum, both spiritual and material. Political and economic situation in Russia at the time enabled Methodism to serve as a catalyst within Russian hearts and souls. It resonated stronger than any missionary could have ever hoped, deeper than any formal establishment could have ordered it to penetrate. While economic and political circumstances of that era prepared the appropriate backdrop, it was the people who completely opened themselves up to Methodism and gave it its second life in Russia.

These were ordinary people doing truly extra-ordinary things on a daily basis, equipped only with raw enthusiasm. And belief. Belief in something greater and something better than what they had and what they’ve experienced. Belief in each other and belief in change.

Today, thanks to those people, Methodism and Russia are not viewed as mutually exclusive concepts.

This site is about the story of Methodism in Russia, its revival, and creation and the first five years of life in the First United Methodist Church of Russia. Many accounts of the events of that time exist. As any single account, they are incomplete. This site attempts to fill in the blanks, revealing the details that have never been presented in their entirety, or at all – until now.