Spring 2017

Dear Friends!

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

Pascha is a time of hope and light. Christ’s Resurrection gives us joy and faith in not just the possibility, but the reality of a new life.

For decades that has been the mission of Religious Books for Russia (RBR). Catherine Lvoff and Sophie Koulomzin began sending banned Bibles, prayers books and religious literature deep in the Soviet era. In the 1990s it became possible to publish books in Moscow by the leading religious writers and theologians of the Russian emigration: Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Fr. John Meyendorff, Fr. Thomas Hopko and Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, as well as books on religious education for children by Sophie Koulomzin.

Distributing books has become the great challenge now. They are widely available in Moscow and some of them are also accessible in electronic form, but as Russia’s economic and infrastructure woes grow, at a time when many are struggling to feed their families, books have fallen off the list of necessities and become a luxury.

RBR’s representatives in Russia, Lena and Masha Dorman work tirelessly out of Moscow to distribute books to clergy and laity on whom they will have the greatest impact.

They have sent books to Fr. Maksim Sherstkov who ministers to a parish at a prison colony in the Kirov region. A fellow parishioner of the Dorman’s sent Schmemann’s “Diaries” to an inmate at another prison and shared with us excerpts from their subsequent correspondence. 
I have come to love the ‘Diaries’ with my whole heart! I recently re-read them for the second time. I will not hide that I have never before had the chance to read SUCH a book!,”
wrote the man, who is in solitary confinement. He also writes that
“Fr. Alexander has had a great influence on me and already here and now I see his influence on my life.”

The hefty volume has become a classic in Russia, but at roughly 600 rubles (a little over $10), which in some places in Russia is the equivalent of a tenth of a month’s salary, it can be prohibitively expensive (not to mention that it has sold out in most bookstores).

This would be impossible without your generous help. A donation of $100 can play an immeasurable role in the lives of people around Russia who would have no access at all to books by Fr. Alexander Schmemann and other religious thinkers of the Russian emigration.

2017, the 100th anniversary of a tragic date -- the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution that forced so many Russians, including the families of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Fr. John Meyendorff and Sophie Koulomzin -- to become emigres, is an especially appropriate time to bring their powerful works back to Russia.

Please be generous!

Sincerely yours,

Vera Bouteneff
Olga Poloukhine
Executive Secretary