About 16 years ago, I had the privilege to travel to Russia. Our trip involved a couple of days in Vladivostok, a city in the Far Eastern part of Russian, on the border of China, as well as a day in Moscow. The trip between Vladivostok and Moscow covers 10 time zones, resulting in our arriving at essentially the same time as we left, even though we were in the air for about 10 hours!
During our brief trip to Russia, I was impressed with the size of the country, its rugged beauty, its cold, and its need. A missionary there told us of the challenges he faced in sharing the gospel and the spiritual darkness that exists across much of the land.
There was a time that Russia was wide open to missionaries and to Christian work. It seems that now the doors are less and less open. But we need to be praying for this country, for the believers that are there, for the doors to open, and for laborers to be able to take the gospel to the nearly 150 million people that need Jesus.
Here are a few statistics that give an overview of the country: (source)
- Russia is the largest country in the world by area. It covers 1/8th of the Earths inhabited land area.
- Russia is the most populous nation in Europe with 147 million people (9th most populous nation in the world).
- 74% of people in Russia live in cities. The major cities are:
- Moscow (capital) – 12.4 million
- Saint Petersburg – 5.3 million
- Novosibirsk – 1.6 million
- Yekaterinburg – 1.5 million
- Nizhny Novgorod – 1.3 million
- Kazan – 1.2 million
- Chelyabinsk – 1.2 million
- Omsk – 1.2 million
- Samara – 1.2 million
- Ufa – 1.1 million
- Rostov-na-Donu – 1.1 million
- Krasnoyarsk – 1.1 million
- Perm – 1 million
- Voronezh – 1 million
- Vogograd – 1 million
- Only 1.2% of Russians are evangelicals, according to Operation World.
- Russia has one of the oldest populations in the world with an average of 40.3 years, due to very low fertility rates.
- Russia has 11.6 million immigrants, mostly from ex-Soviet states.
- Russia is classified as one of the world’s worst violators of religious liberty in 2017 by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.