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100 times over, just by working for Soviet companies and industries. We are

slaves, there is no other country where they pay workers less than in the Soviet


We have large families, up to 5,10, even 15 children. In such cases the mother

cannot work, therefore there is only one bread winner in the family until the

children reach an employable age. It is dubious what type of a plush life a

family of 15-17 can lead when the provider receives a monthly salary of 80, at

the most 100 rubles.

This is a half hungry existance, yet we bare it, and continue to do so. How can

we save any money? But then what about the years of imprisonment, disappointments,

years of the destruction of our families, years of unbarable tragedies. And now,

when we finally want to rid ourselves of the guardianship of the Soviet govern

ment, they demand us to pay 500 rubles for an exit permit and an additional 500

rubles for turning in our passports. This totals 1000 rubles per adult person, per

family. What therefore does this mean? This is a method by which they attempt to


retain us poor christians, without any future.

"Help us, mister delegates!" Please make your statements and protests known

to the Soviet authorities, because they do not answer our inquiries. And if

possible, reach an agreement amongst your representatives and redeem us from

our slavery. We will pay you back, double, even triple the amount, thanking

God for your generosity and grace to us.

With much respect to you,

Signed: Christians-Pentecostals and Baptists




Prepared by A. Ivask


Received on October 31, 1978

The Russian original was compiled by Eugene Bresenden, a
Pentecostal who recently immigrated to the United States
through the auspices of the Tolstoy Foundation, on an Is-
raeli "vyzov" (invitation).

This document is a compilation of materials which both
Mr. Bresenden and the Tolstoy Foundation has received.
Certain facts are based on Mr. Bresenden's personal ex-
perience, while he was living in Nakhodka, U.S.S.R.

Due to the length of the original, the attached English
version is basically a summary of the original's salient
features and a very loose translation.

In the original, certain articles of the Soviet Consti-
tution, to which the author referred, were paraphrased by
him in his own words. The English summary quotes each

article in its entirety, directly from the Soviet Consti-


Pentecostals first appeared in Russia in the beginning of the 20th C., mainly in Western and Central Ukraine. The actual and real spread of this religious movement occured in 1924, when an American preacher from the United States, Ivan Yefimovich Voronaev, came to Russia.

In 1928, Voronaev was arrested and met his death in prison, when guard dogs tore him to pieces during his daily walk in the courtyard. Arrests began of other religious leaders, preachers and civilians. The Pentecostal magazine was banned and general persecution of Pentecostals began. Large arrests were made particularly in 1937, 1939, 1946, 1949, 1953 and 1961, concentrating on presbyters, deacons and preachers who did not agree to conditions put before them by the atheists.

In 1946, an attempt on the part of the Soviet authorities was made to form a Union of Baptists and Pentecostala. However, this Union was not planned to look out for the interests of the Believers, but on the contrary, was to employ those in the Union, to the benefit of the atheistic government. The majority of the leaders of the Pentecostals who were tricked into joining this Union, quickly understood what awaited them and withdrew from this Union with their parishioners. This group numbered 170,000. Only some 30,000 remained in this Union. Those leaders who withdrew their membership from the Union were immediately arrested and imprisoned.

The situation of the Pentecostals in the Soviet Union who do not belong to the Union, now called "Ye.Kh.B.", is extremely difficult. These Pentecostals are not permitted to form their own Union. For the least amount of doubt that a group is forming a Union, they are imprisoned, be it truth or just a suspicion. They are charged with various felonies, for example, those arrested were: I. Fedotov (from the city of Kaluga) and Belykh and Levchuk; all now exhiled. Also, Vaschenko (city of Nakhodka) and Bedash (city of Piatikhatka) are now under house arrest.

Salient features cont'd.

In the U.S.S.R., there are no Houses of Worship for the Pentecostals. Therefore they must meet in private homes. They are liable to be fined and brought to court for every such meeting. The Pentecostal sect is officially banned. Pentecostals are denied not only religious rights, but civil rights:

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Bearing in mind the above, the activities of P. Shatrov, (who is officially sanctioned by the KGB) during his travels in the U.S.S.R. and abroad are dubious. He deceives everyone. Proof of this lies in the fact that thousands of religious leaders are in prisons and in camps, from Lithuania all the way to the Far East.

The circumstances of the Pentecostals in the U.S.S.R. can be compared to the life of the`Jews in Egypt. These circumstances brought to the minds of Pentecostals the thought to emigrate from the Soviet Uniɔn, just as the Jews in Egypt. The situation of the Pentecostals has been brought to the attention of all possible official organs of the Soviet Union, however, they do not answer. Such polemics have been going on since the 16th of March, 1973.

I, Eugene Bresenden, am officially authorized by the Pentecostal communities in the Soviet Union to ask the population of the World to intervene on the behalf of the Believers in the Soviet Union, which is in full accordance with what the Soviet Union promised at the Helsinki Hearings in the Helsinki Accords. The Soviet Union promised to ensure Human Rights. Either the government of the Soviet Union ensures religious freedom to the Believers or permits the Believers to emigrate to any non-communist country.

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