Spring 2018

Christ is Risen!

Dear Friends!

In this joyous Paschal season, we can share some wonderful news about the ways in which your donations to Religious Books for Russia (RBR) Religious Books for Russia (RBR) are bringing the Word of God to the far corners of Russia and using new translations and social media to do so.

In our 2017 Fall Appeal, we asked you to support the publication of translations from Slavonic into the Russian language of the Sacraments of Baptism and Marriage by Henri Volokhonsky, a prominent emigre poet and translator who died in 2017.

You responded very generously to our call for help. Sergei Chapnin, founder of the Artos Creative Fellowship for Contemporary Christian Culture, which published the translations, has already reported very positive results, telling RBR that they have been met “not just with good will, but, I would say, with great enthusiasm.”

Following dozens of messages and phone queries, the translation has been sent out to regions including Novgorod and Tambov and requests have come in even from Russian parishes in France and Germany.

“This is first and foremost the enthusiasm of young priests, who want to use the Russian language but do not yet have the necessary translations and publications,”

said Chapnin, underscoring that now they do, thanks to RBR and your much-needed contributions!

This latest project is a new addition to our continuing mission of distributing the works of the most important theologians and Christian educators of the Russian emigration, including Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Fr. John Meyendorff, Metropolitan Anthony Bloom and Sophie Koulomzin.

Elena Dorman, RBR’s Moscow representative, describes how she and her daughter Maria, who assists in distributing books, track Facebook posts to find those in need. Among the latest success stories is a library in Taganrog, a southern city founded by Peter the Great and famous as Russia’s first naval base and as the birthplace of Anton Chekhov.

“Its management suddenly woke up and discovered that there is an author named Schmemann, and they don’t have him, but people are asking! But in recent years, even decades, the library has had virtually no new acquisitions and has no money….And so one of the librarians complained about this on Facebook, which we monitor! We saw it right away and I wrote to them and sent them a huge shipment, and now the city of Taganrog is raising its spiritual level thanks to RBR.”

Maria Dorman tells of a fascinating Facebook comment that she saw in response to a delivery of books by Fr Schmemann.

“The first rector of our parish had ordered that we burn his works,” wrote Fr. Maksim Brazhnikov from the Diocese of Orenburg. “When Masha Dorman sent me a package with books by Fr. Alexander I began to read his ‘Sunday Talks’ [from his Radio Liberty broadcasts] and the attitude changed to ‘we didn’t even realize how good he is!”

Your generous donations are helping to cause a sea of change in Russia, that might not yet be apparent on the surface at a time when we have so much negative news, yet it is very real.

As Pentecost approaches, there is so much we can do to continue this work in spreading the Good News of Christ’s Resurrection and our call to Eternal Life, which are so profoundly expressed in the books distributed by RBR.

But we need your ongoing support. Please be generous!

Sincerely yours,

Vera Bouteneff
Olga Poloukhine
Executive Secretary