Volume 3 - 1989
“It is now permitted to send parcels containing religious matter, and also Bibles, etc.”
— From “Customs Controls — New Rules”, Moscow, 25 March 1988.
Bibles posted to the USSR are arriving. Continue sending them while you can!
Christians in the USSR who have distributed literature and tracts have seen uniformed police and KGB officials approaching the people and removing the Gospel literature from them.
Tourists taking Christian literature into the Soviet Union seem to have one of two experiences:
— They are either allowed to take a few items in, or
— if they have a large number of Bibles, particularly if these include any Childrens Bibles, they are politely taken away.
On 14 November 1988, Ivan Badulin, who comes from a village near Kharkhov, was stopped whilst transporting 80 000 Gospels of John. Ivan was arrested and taken to the police station. Although he was later released, all 80 000 Gospels were confiscated by the Soviet police.
ONLY FOR SOME
Two gift consignments of Bibles sent in June 1988, from West German churches to two independent unregistered evangelical churches, were being held up by the local customs.
The pastors to whom they were addressed, from Leningrad and Makinsk (Kazakhstan), were informed by local representatives of the Council for Religious Affairs that the Bibles would not be handed over unless they were prepared to register their churches.
The contents of one parcel addressed to the pastor of Makinsk have since been passed on to leaders of registered churches. Further information about the gift to Leningrad has not been forthcoming.
Are Bibles available only to state approved churches?