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InterVarsity Director Observes Growing Bible Interest Among Youth in Former Soviet Union Countries

( [email protected] ) Jul 23, 2004 10:15 PM EDT

The geographic region once marked as the “focus of evil in the modern world” by the late President Ronald Reagan now has a second generation that love studying the Bible and entering the mission field.

The former Soviet Union, which consisted of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, among others have a growing number of youth who are interested in the Bible, according to Bob Grahmann, director of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students Eurasia Insitute for Staff Development and Training in Kiev, Ukraine, who has also served as a pastor and director of Bible and Life for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA.

"We're finding that especially among the young people, who excited they are to study the scriptures,” Grahmann told Mission Network News. “And, there (are) small group Bible studies going on all over Russia and the other countries of the former Soviet Union."

The youth living in regions from the former Soviet Union are interested in the Bible due to the deprivation of contact with it in their childhood. “They never got to go to Sunday school,” MNN reported Grahmann as saying. “They never got to learn the Bible stories when they were children. So, the Bible is really new and exciting and fresh for them.”

Grahmann told MNN that he noticed a large number of the nationals are “joining the staff of missions and ministries."

Although he reported bad news to MNN, by mentioning the “anti-religion laws,” being passed in countries of the former Soviet Union, Grahmann hopes the national youth could remedy the mission problems in the former Soviet Union.

"The best way to approach it is to train a bunch of young leaders who can carry on the work in those countries, if the political doors would close to western missionaries," he said.