On Sunday, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin won a fifth term in office after nationwide elections that have received mixed international attention. 

Joel Griffith with the Slavic Gospel Association (SGA) affirms that during this season there has been a significant crackdown on any opposition to the government, as well as freedom of speech. 

"In terms of the churches, what they’ve tried to do is really focus on their ministries as much as possible," Griffith says. 

SGA comes alongside local churches in their ministries. Russian believers have a history of perseverance under pressure, and God has a history of preserving the Church in Russia.

"The churches continue on as discreetly as necessary to be able to not only continue their worship (and) their normal ministries but also to send missionary pastors out to proclaim the gospel," Griffith says. 

For example, there are areas within Russia where the gospel has not yet fully penetrated, such as in the Arctic Circle and Far East Russia. Believers are praying for continued open doors to reach these regions with the hope of Christ. 

"If things continue to tighten up in Russia, I have no doubt in my mind that they’re resourceful people, and they will find a way to continue to obey the Lord, share the love of Christ and the gospel going on," Griffith says. 

Griffith is asking for prayer for an end to the war in Ukraine, which has caused enormous bloodshed on both sides.

"Pray for the pastors, the missionary pastors, the children’s workers, the regional pastors across Russia, that they would be able to walk through this situation with wisdom, be able to function and continue to share the gospel with wisdom," he says.

Finally, Griffith is urging Christians to pray for world leaders, including their own. 

"Scripture tells us to pray for our leaders, that we could peaceably live and function in the times where God (has) planted us," Griffith says. 


This story originally appeared at Mission Network News and is republished here with permission.