BARNAUL (RUSSIA) – On the 31st of October, protestant churches of Altai region triumphantly and joyfully celebrated the 500th Anniversary of Reformation. There’s a good tradition in Barnaul to celebrate Days of Christian unity. They’re usually celebrated on November 4 – national holiday of unity. But this time the festive service was timed to the outstanding anniversary of Reformation celebration.
Christians from churches of different denominations – Pentecostals, Baptists, Lutherans – gathered at the largest hall of Barnaul in the evening of October 31. The hall was filled with remarkable presence of God and atmosphere of unity and joy. The program consisted of worship, prayer, video clips on the history of Reformation in Europe and its meaning for the contemporary Church and society. During the service the welcome speech of the Head Bishop of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith Edward Grabovenko was presented.
Collection according to the subject was exhibited in the lobby. Besides, in the lobby the wooden gates were installed, and a brother dressed like Martin Luther was standing by them with a hammer. The spot has become popular for taking pictures: many people wanted a picture with a famous Reformer by the church gates, with the famous Theses in German, nailed down to them.
At the service an idea that emerged at one of monthly pastors meetings, was announced. The backbone of the idea is to erect a monument in Barnaul to the first protestants in Altai, who played a crucial part in industrial and cultural development of Barnaul and Altai region in the 18th and 19th centuries. The application for allocating a place for the monument has been submitted to the city administration. It was signed by 16 pastors from Barnaul and several well-known public figures, who supported the idea.
The celebration of the Reformation anniversary has finished, but, as it was said at the service, the idea of Reformation should further be refreshed and affirmed in our churches and our hearts.The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith