The Quest for Russia's Soul: Evangelicals and Moral Education in Post-Communist Russia
Batalden, Stephen K., International Bulletin of Missionary Research
The Quest for Russia's Soul: Evangelicals and Moral Education in Post-Communist Russia. By Perry L. Glanzer. Waco, Tex.: Baylor Univ. Press, 2002. Pp. x, 234. $29.95.
Responding to the collapse of the Soviet Union and its official atheism, Western evangelicals managed in 1991 to secure the collaboration of key officials in the Russian Ministry of Education for a program of technological and humanitarian assistance that included authorization to work with Christian education and moral instruction in Russian schools. These evangelicals, led by Paul Eshleman of Campus Crusade for Christ and the Jesus Film Project, organized themselves as "CoMission" to target Russian schoolteachers. The missionary effort that ensued and the conflicts engendered are the subjects of Perry Glanzer's book.
The project was foredoomed by the radically conflicting goals of the respective parties. Protestant evangelicals in CoMission, seeking to proselytize in Russia, anticipated 12,000 missionaries and billed the project as the greatest missionary church-planting effort of the twentieth century. Russian ministry officials, whose motives remain obscure, probably sought to uplift the dispirited ranks of Russian schoolteachers by securing computer and related Western curricular support. By 1992-93 CoMission's International Schools Project brought close to 400 non-Russian-speaking missionaries into Russian schools for "Jesus" film showings, follow-up convocations, and Bible study meetings. Glanzer seeks to document the personal impact of the mission in converting Russian teachers. …