“Russian education today is open to Christian values,” said Dr. Aleksandr Asmolov, Russian deputy minister of education, speaking at a press conference in Anaheim, California, last month. After appealing for volunteers to more than 8,000 Christian teachers assembled for a convention there, Asmolov compared the over seven decades of Russian domination by atheistic ideology to the Hebrews’ wandering in the wilderness. “For 75 years, we were in the desert of communism,” he said, lamenting the spiritual and ethical impoverishment of the Soviet era. “But the truth is that people’s mentality can be changed through education.”

More than 60 Christian educational and evangelistic organizations have banded together to help transform the post-Communist republics of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) through education. That united effort, called the CoMission, hopes to recruit 12,000 North American Christians to spend a year in the former Soviet Union. Their primary task will be to teach teachers there to use a newly developed curriculum entitled “Christian Ethics and Morality: A Foundation for Society.”

Interactive Teaching

In addition, the Western volunteers will coach their Eastern counterparts in interactive teaching methods, such as role-playing and class discussions. The totalitarian nature of Soviet society fostered an authoritarian approach to education, and the lecture method has dominated Soviet classrooms.

Other goals include training in the use of the Jesus film, establishing video Bible classes in schools and community centers, and developing indigenous leadership to take over the CoMission’s activities.

The invitation to North American educators was ...

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