Rawlings School of Divinity


Master of Arts in Global Studies (MAGS)


C. Thomas Wright


worldview, russia, soviet, post-soviet, missionary, evangelism


Missions and World Christianity


The early 1990s’ foreign missionary flood into St. Petersburg, Russia led to a seemingly large spiritual harvest. However, over the years as the reported spiritual fruit substantially decreased, it was soon discovered that this harvest was actually an illusion. Research has shown that overall worldview was not implemented into missionary efforts like it should have been. Statistics reveal a declining trend in true believers in Russia, and as a new generation of Russians are rising up, so are the number of atheists in St. Petersburg. In searching for a solution to reverse this trend and more effectively reach Russians by seeing true, worldview-changing conversions to Christianity take place, the author used questionnaires and interviews and compared the results with scholarly sources to determine that a major worldview shift has taken place among those born after 1980. Soviet Russians, born 1980 and earlier, are one of the two generations the author discovered in the scope of implementing worldview into foreign missionary evangelistic efforts in Russia. The author researched various historical events that led to their worldview aspects of: hopelessness; lack of trust; submissiveness; prejudice; and identification with Russian Orthodoxy. Post-Soviet Russians, born after 1980, are the other generation the author discovered. They have had different experiences from the Soviet Russians, which have led to their worldview aspects of rebelliousness, openness, and hope. After a worldview analysis, multiple practical suggestions are provided for the foreign missionary on how to implement these worldview elements into his ministry to Soviet and post-Soviet Russians in St. Petersburg so that this problem of declining spiritual fruit in Russia may be reversed.