Adventism On The Move2: Russia


Nov. 6 - Adventism On The Move2: Russia




And how are they to hear without a preacher? Rom. 10:14, RSV.

And preachers there were. One of the most significant was L. R. Conradi, a Germanborn immigrant to America where he found the Advent message. In 1886 he returned to Europe as a minister.

Almost immediately he faced a request from Gerhardt Perk to visit Russia. Since the authorities would not admit a minister to the country, Conradi, having worked for a while at the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Battle Creek, declared himself as a printer.

But no matter what he called himself, once Conradi got into the country he began to preach the Seventh-day Adventist message openly. He and Perk located about 50 Sabbathkeepers, and Baptist and Lutheran congregations often greeted them with open arms. At other times the two Adventists found themselves met with stones, especially when they introduced the Sabbath question.

But in all of his activities Conradi was violating Russian law, which forbade preaching and proselytizing. Still things went well until they arrived at Berde Bulat, where they organized a church and held a public baptism in the Black Sea. The rooftops were crowded with spectators who desired to watch the novel scene.

That was too much for the local authorities. They arrested Conradi and Perk and charged them with the teaching of Jewish heresy, of public baptism, and of proselytizing Russians. For 40 days the two men endured a cramped cell, poor food, and intimidating threats. But finally the American embassy in St. Petersburg secured their release.

And what did they do? More preaching as they spread the Advent message in a difficult place to do evangelism.

Conradi would eventually locate in Germany, where he would lead the Adventist denomnation in Europe for the next 35 years.

Meanwhile, back in Russia more returning Adventist immigrants arrived to preach the message they loved. Some of them would end up banished to Siberia, but it was through such sacrifices that the Seventh-day Adventist message took root and began to grow in Russia.

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Lord, most of us today have it so easy. Help us to learn to remember the sacrifices of
those who have gone before in the spreading of the messages of the three angels.