Meet the Team - Russian Faith Now in Seven Languages!
Meet the Team - Russian Faith Now in Seven Languages!Follow @KnightsTempOrg
A massive, historic, Christian revolution is happening right now, in Russia. Tens of millions of Russian Christians are supporting traditional Christian values, and they aren't turning the country upside-down — they are turning it right-side-up!
This incredible ongoing news story is a beacon of hope for Christians all around the world. While Christian culture has been disintegrating beyond recognition in America and Western Europe, in Russia the salmon is swimming upstream — the Church is getting strong, growing quickly, and it is making a positive impact on the culture itself.
While other nations are desperately searching for ways to forget God, Russia is changing its laws to align more closely with traditional Christian beliefs. Among other things, they are now recognizing God in the constitution, and constitutionally protecting traditional marriage as a bond between one man and one woman.
Only a couple years ago, the Russian Faithnews site started as a grassroots effort, getting the word out about the amazing Christian renaissance taking place in modern Russia. These stories were already being told in Russian media, but precious little was available to the hundreds of millions of English speakers in the world.
Today it continues as a grassroots effort — we don't have any wealthy donors, and we don't receive any government support. Nevertheless, we are no longer limited to an English speaking audience. Thanks to contributions from some amazing volunteers, and thanks to financial support from readers like you, we are able to bring this story to many more people around the world. We are now publishing this great news in seven languages!
Even more amazing — most of this work is being done by people who decided to leave their native countries, and to start a new life in Russia. Their photos and stories are included below.
This is where all the magic began. A Christian man named Dave Curry had a dream — he wanted to tell the world about the Christianity's incredible growth in modern Russia. And with the help of a grassroots campaign, his dream came true. He rolled up his sleeves, and did the hard work necessary to make it a reality. This video shows how he told the story, in his own words:
Thousands of traditional Christians got excited, supported Dave's vision, and the Russian Faith website was officially launched. Little did he — or anyone else — realize just how far the website would eventually go, and what an impact it would make on people's lives.
Around the same time, Fr. Joseph Gleason and his family — with eight children — had moved from America to Russia. The Russian Faith website published an interview with Fr. Joseph, receiving a massive response. They brought him onboard, and made him the Senior Editor. Soon afterwards, Fr. Joseph shared his vision for the Russian Faith website.
Thanks to the hard work of David Curry, Fr. Joseph, grassroots supporters, and countless volunteers, thousands of quality articles have now been published, and the English edition of Russian Faith has become a trusted resource for thousands of faithful subscribers.
Recently, we gladly started publishing the French edition of Russian Faith. One of our readers became enraptured with the website, and volunteered to translate a number of articles into French.
One of our favorite contributors is Laurence Guillon, an Orthodox Christian who moved from France to Russia a few years ago. One of her most touching pieces is Holy Russia, Still Alive: Ancient Traditions Preserved in Rural Villages. She blogs in French at Chroniques de Pereslavl, and she lives in the town of Pereslavl-Zalessky — just one hour south of Rostov the Great.
Jan Den Biesen fluently speaks German, English, Russian, and multiple other languages. Professionally, he is an expert at restoring medieval books. He lives with his family in Western Europe, currently in Belgium. They have already sold their house, and they plan to move to Russia soon. Jan and his family are planning to settle in Sergiev Posad — only one hour north of Moscow, and two hours south of Rostov the Great.
His road to Russia began over thirty years ago, back in the late 1980s. At that time he was living in a Benedictine monastery in the Netherlands. There he read a book about the holy staretz, Silouan of Mount Athos. This first awakened his interest in Orthodox Christianity.
He lived in the Benedictine abbey for fourteen years. Eight years afterwards, he met a lovely young lady named Olga. They married in 2009 in the parish of the Solovietsky monastery in Moscow, a fifteen minute walk from the Red Square. His interest in Orthodoxy continued to grow, and he entered the Russian Orthodox Church a few years later.
God blessed Jan and Olga with a son, Daniel. The three of them travel to Russia every year, visiting holy monasteries such as Optina Pustyn, Klikovo, Pafnuti Borofsk, and the Sergiev Posad Lavra. This recharges their spiritual batteries, enabling them to endure another year in heavily secularized Western Europe. In time, they finally realized they weren't content merely to visit once a year — they decided to move their family to Russia!
Jan shares some of his family's reasons for moving:
"Why do we want to go to Russia? It is especially the country itself that draws us, offering the opportunity to celebrate our Orthodox faith together with others. The secularized West is morally bankrupt and offers little perspective for Orthodox youth. Thankfully, Russia offers plenty of opportunities in this regard.
"It is important for someone who wants to emigrate to Russia from the west to have good contacts in the country. It will help with the first steps in a new environment. Of course this also applies professionally. I restore medieval books and have therefore made several contacts with colleagues in Russia, looking at the opportunities for practicing my profession there.
"It is important to me personally to know that our homeland is with God. Russia is far from perfect, but it is a good country for people of faith. With God's help, it will certainly work!"
With new articles published almost every day, the Brazilian Portuguese edition of Russian Faith is now one of the most active sections on our website. Soon, we also plan to release a new book in Portuguese.
The story behind this part of our website is a miracle in itself. It is closely connected with the story of Geraldo & Karen, a young couple who grew up in Brazil, moved to Russia, and became Orthodox Christians.
They were living in a remote village in South America, more than three hours away from the nearest Orthodox Church, barely getting by on $250 per month. They wanted children, but homeschooling is illegal in Brazil, and the government schools there are aggressively pushing the homosexual agenda. Geraldo and Karen gave up everything they had, just so they could become Orthodox Christians.
By publishing in Portuguese, we are reaching out to people on three continents — Europe, Africa, & South America. We provide traditional Christian content for believers in multiple lusophone countries, including Portugal, Angola, and Brazil.
Some may be surprised to hear that we publish articles in Russian. After all, many Russians already know that the Christian Faith is revitalizing their culture. The point of our website is to tell the rest of the worldabout it.
Still, there are a number of articles we like sharing with our friends here in Russia. And to make this possible, we are very grateful for our friend, Ekaterina Gourkina. She lives near Laurence Guillon, in the town of Pereslavl-Zalessky — only a hour away from Rostov the Great.
After we hit the ground running with the English site, the Spanish edition of Russian Faith was our first foray into multilingual Christian news publishing. Since then, we have expanded into a total of seven languages.
For the Spanish edition, we have had a number of temporary volunteers — individuals who graciously offered to translate one or more articles for us. We are currently looking for someone fluent in Spanish, with a deep love for the Russian Faith website, who can really take the reins and run the Spanish site in the same way that Geraldo faithfully manages the Portuguese site.
The Albanian edition of Russian Faith is another miracle, this time involving a man named Vangel. Raised without Christ in a brutal atheist nation, as a child he secretly listened to Christian radio broadcasts from neighboring countries. As a young adult he became a Protestant, got married, and started a family. Later, he discovered the ancient faith of Christ and the apostles, and he deeply desired to become an Orthodox Christian.
His family didn't want to convert. And if he became Orthodox, he knew he would lose his only source of income. He loved Jesus more than he loved money, and he knew that following Christ was even more important than pleasing his family, so finally, in the year 2019, he took a giant leap of faith and joined the Church alone.
As part of his journey towards Orthodox Christianity, he discovered the Russian Faith website. Vangel relates this part of the story thus:
"I read about Geraldo Silva, his conversion to Orthodoxy, and his creation of the Portuguese section on the Russian Faith website. His story was very encouraging. He had come from a theological background similar to mine, in a land where Orthodox churches were few and far between, and still he managed to join the Church and to share the Faith with numerous people who speak his native tongue. Later, he even moved to Russia. I wondered if, somehow, I could follow a similar path. His story inspired me.
"I volunteered, asking Fr. Joseph if I could translate Russian Faith articles into Albanian. He agreed. And he said that if enough articles were translated, then we could start an Albanian language section on the Russian Faith website. It felt good to have some way of sharing the Orthodox Faith with others . . ."
And there you have it! In two and a half years, Russian Faith has gone from initial launch to world publication in seven languages. We couldn't have done it without support from our faithful readers, and we couldn't have done it without the love and hard work of so many volunteers. Glory to God! And thanks to everyone who has helped make this dream a reality!