Russia

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Despite religion being outlawed in Russia for much of the 20th century, there is a strong interest in Christianity. The Lutheran church in Ingria is constantly growing. Between one and three new congregations are created each year. The Ingrian Church is active across the breadth of the Russian Federation, from St Petersburg to Lake Baikal. This causes major administration and information-sharing challenges and means that it is difficult to keep the church unified.


There is a constant shortages of trained workers and funds. FELM supports the training of workers for the Ingrian Lutheran Church along with efforts to support the Church’s self-sufficiency.


In central Russia FELM supports the Ingrian church’s church school, which offers correspondence courses in the Christian faith and church work for volunteer workers.
FELM also provides financial support to poor congregations in St Petersburg, and the Komi, Mari and Karelian republics.


FELM supports the Lutheran Church of Ingria in its active social and diaconal work. The church runs for example three old people’s homes.

 

Sponsorship work 


FELM and the Ingrian Lutheran Church have recently begun a project in St Petersburg aimed at preventing discrimination against children growing up in orphanages. The project is supported with child sponsorship funds.


In Russia children who have grown up in orphanages do not have realistic ideas about what everyday life is like and how to cope with it. According to the most worrying statistics, around 90% of children leaving Russian orphenages become marginalised from society. Many end up with alcohol and drug addictions or turn to prostitution or crime.


Project funds have been used to rent a two-bedroom flat in St Petersburg that functions as a week-end home for young people. At the home they are taught, in a family-like environment, about how to get by in everyday life. They are also taught about Christian values and introduced to the Church.