Russia is the largest country in the world by surface area. Much of the population is concentrated in the eastern part. Decades of communism and brutal rule have deeply scarred the nation, and the effects are everywhere. Today, under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has re-emerged as an aggressive and forceful player on the world stage. While most of the West disapproves of this, many Russians admire Putin for the order and national pride he has established. Religious life is dominated by the Russian Orthodox Church; fewer than 1% of Russians are Protestant. Increasingly religious freedoms are being restricted in Russia, and in particular mission and evangelism activities have been greatly limited. In these increasingly hostile circumstances, COAH is privileged to partner with a number of ministries and pastors who continue to shine forth the light of the gospel, in both word and in deed.
COAH is supporting 20 pastors in Russia, mainly in Yakutia. Many of them minister to small rural congregations who lack the means to support their pastor. Our gospel partnership allows them to focus their attention and energy on their ministries rather than side employment.
Needy families and individuals suffering during the cold winter months receive assistance, whether it be food, clothing, fuel for heating, or help paying bills.
In the north of Russia and particularly Siberia, there are numbers of remote, inaccessible villages. However, during the winter months, the rivers and lakes freeze, creating a ready-made highway. During these months, each year a group of pastors head north on a lengthy and treacherous circuit, to bring the gospel to these villages, and to strengthen and assist the believers.
A Street Children Outreach seeks to provide assistance to children lacking parental care; in Russia, alcohol abuse wreaks havoc in many homes. This project involves providing clothing, Christian literature and other care to these children.
A number of children from impoverished Christian families in Yakutia receive assistance by means of the COAH Child Sponsorship Program.