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MNN (05/09/06) – U-S Vice President Dick Cheney’s comments accusing Russia of using energy as tools of intimidation or blackmail against neighboring countries is causing problems for ministry. The comments are drawing anger from high level officials and the average Russian on the street.

Vice President of Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba says the reaction isn’t going to make ministry easier. “It will be harder because we always represent the western community there because we support (with western money) mission work in Russia . And, unfortunately the evangelical church in Russia isn’t capable yet to provide support for their own ministries.”

According to Rakhuba, average Russian citizens are reacting harshly because they don’t know what’s going on. “There (are) lots of restrictions on the media and free speech. There’s not adequate information available. The current Russian government is starting the brain washing campaign like we remember was extremely well used under the Soviet regime.”

The recent law restricting foreign non-governmental organizations will also hurt their work, but — “If western missionaries will be forced out of Russia , we will continue supporting Russian church leaders, Russian evangelical church. We will continue training the next generation to take the baton of faithfulness from the previous generation.”

Despite the potential difficulties that lie ahead, Rakhuba says Christian work will move forward as true Christians will rise above politics to do God’s work. “Traveling, even, to Russia — maybe there will be some remarks, but the actual work will show these volunteers who took their time, they spent their money, they want to show their love to those in need in Russia. And, there’s no more powerful language than this.”

Funding is need to help support summer youth camps, church without walls, leadership training and other outreach.