I emigrated from the USSR in pursuit of “religious” freedom. My grandfather and both great-grand fathers were persecuted for Christian beliefs. I was persecuted as a child, because I believed that Christ is my savior. Sometimes teachers would look at Christian kids and ask them, “Is God dead?” and depending on the Childs answer the same kid would receive a consequent grade or mark.
Many former Soviet Christians of the Communist Parties time still remember as the persecutors of the church squeezed the public in to the outskirts of the town, in to Gulags. Many confessors had the fate of been broken and harassed by beatings, rape, torture, burnings, watched their babies splattered on walls; all in the name of Christ. I have never known one of my grandfathers, and to this day we don’t know where one of my great-grandfathers is buried because he died in an unknown labor camp. There are many stories I could tell which were told to me, or I witnessed on my own. One vivid picture I will never forget. A KGB officer came to our house, pulled a knife and was threatening to start cutting us; my mother jumped in front of us, spread her arms out and was ready to protect us with her chest; Then she started yelling “Jesus Loves you”. The face on the officer changed, he got confused and walked away.
I may be naïve, but I think that it should be mentioned that the world we live in- is a fallen world. This is our reality and it will be a reality to the end of the world. An old man ones called this place “The World of the Devilish Structure”, understanding this, will open before our astonished gaze a reality that is uncomfortable to us. When one starts to understand how the devil works tirelessly to destroy churches, Christian leadership, divisions, schisms and dissension amongst brothers and sisters is cast- destroying the faith of Christians and unbelievers. Sadly, the church grows stronger during persecutions while freedom destroys it.
Freedom casts multiplication of sin; love dies and pursuit of financial happiness grows. Everything seems to cool, and people quit praying and depending on God. In the Holy Bible, New International Version; II Tim 2:26 it says “1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” This was written over two thousand years ago, and never has this passage been so true as it is today.