Dear Partners in the Gospel,

As many of you no doubt have heard, Russia’s presidential election is scheduled to take place Sunday, March 4. I am writing to ask you to intercede in prayer during this very important time in Russia’s history.

Current prime minister and former president Vladimir Putin is expected to reclaim the presidency according to current polls. There are four other candidates running—communist leader Gennady Zhuganov, along with nationalist leader and parliament member Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Also competing are millionaire businessman Mikhail Prohkorov and the leader of the Just Russia party, Sergei Mironov. The winning candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote. If there is no outright winner, the two leading candidates must then compete in a run-off election.

There is much at stake as always with any Russian election. We have seen other former Soviet countries take significant steps backward in terms of freedom for evangelical churches to worship freely and to proclaim the Gospel. The renewed oppression has been the worst in the Muslim-dominated Central Asian countries. Thus far, churches in Russia and Ukraine remain largely free, although there have been occasional moves to restrict them in various ways.

Please join the SGA family in praying for God’s purpose in Sunday’s election, and for the blessing and protection of our brothers and sisters as they continue to proclaim the life-changing Gospel to their people.