WHY RUSSIA?  In 1992, SON Network began our ministries in this large and culturally rich country.

SON Founding Director, Pastor Don Richman began working in Russia prior to the fall of the Soviet Union and in 1992 formed East European Missions Network (EEMN). SON has a long history of working in Russia; hosting conferences and English camps, as well as providing Christian resources and raising funds to build Bible Schools. Since our first days in Russia, God has increased our reach into Central Europe, the Baltics, the Balkans, East Asia and Ethiopia.

Sadly, in 2016, President Vladimir Putin signed into effect the Yarovaya Law. Embedded in this anti-terrorism law are severe restrictions on any form of Evangelism and Missionary activity. This made it increasingly more difficult to do the Lord’s work in this country and made it unmanageable to take mission teams.

In 2022, the Russian government led a full invasion of Ukraine, which has led to a full-on war that continues to this day. Travel for Americans to Russia is now impossible. SON has long-standing partnerships throughout northwest, central, and east Russia and continues to help Connect Spiritual Orphans to the Global Family of Christ.

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Country Snapshot

AREA: (approximately 1.8 times the size of the US) total: 17,098,242 sq km (6,601,668 sq miles), land: 16,377,742 sq km ( 6,323,482 sq miles), water: 720,500 sq km (278,187 sq miles)

Population: 142,320,790 (July 2021 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.2% (2021 est.)

Capital City: Moscow

Independence Day: 24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates: 1157 (Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal created); 16 January 1547 (Tsardom of Muscovy established); 22 October 1721 (Russian Empire proclaimed); 30 December 1922 (Soviet Union established)

Ethnic Groups: Russian 77.7%, Tatar 3.7%, Ukrainian 1.4%, Bashkir 1.1%, Chuvash 1%, Chechen 1%, other 10.2%, unspecified 3.9%  note: more than 190 ethnic groups are represented in Russia’s 2010 census (2010 est.) note: nearly 200 national and/or ethnic groups are represented in Russia’s 2010 census

Languages: Russian (official) 85.7%, Tatar 3.2%, Chechen 1%, other 10.1%

Life Expectancy at Birth: total population: 71.3 years / male: 65.6 years / female: 77.3 years (2018 est.)

Religious Groups:
Russian Orthodox 15-20%
Muslim 10-15%
other Christian 2% (2006 est.)
note: estimates are of practicing worshipers; Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of official atheism under Soviet rule; Russia officially recognizes Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism as the country’s traditional religions

SON’s Work in Russia

Russian Ministry Partnerships

SON Partners: Christian Center and Campground and ELKUSFO (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Urals, Siberia and the Far East)

Where we work: Karelia, Volga, and Ural regions

What we do: Due to recent anti missionary laws and the present political climate, SON is currently unable to take teams to Russia, but we continue to raise awareness and support for our partners so that they can continue to do the work that God has put before them.