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Showing posts from November, 2019

Telling the True Story

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The pictures below were painted in the basement of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in St. Petersburg, Russia after the church was restored to the congregation. It shares the basement space with the cement swimming pool that was in last week's post. The pictures tell the history of Lutherans under the Soviet control. I'll repeat the story behind the pictures.




People were brought before government officials and questioned about their faith. 



The churches were seized and desecrated by the steeple torn down or other atrocities. Children were taught that religions were bad and should not be listened to.










Men were seized and forced to go on transportation trains east to Siberia. 













During the cold winter days in Siberia, the prisoners were forced to cut trees and work in the woods for the government.






The exiles were kept in a Soviet gulag - a forced labor camp - behind a fence because they were prisoners.









With all the men shipped to Siberia, the Lutheran women had to meet in secret in homes …

Church Made into a Swimming Pool?

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In August I had the chance to visit one of the oldest and largest churches in St. Petersburg - the Lutheran Church of St. Peter and St. Paul on our main street Nevsky Prospect. Known by most as the German Lutheran Church, this congregation was started in the early 1800s by (you guessed it) German immigrants. By 1917, St. Peter Lutheran Church had 15,000 members.


And then the Revolution took place... All Lutherans in the city were persecuted and the churches basically dismantled during the next fifteen years. The Soviet government took over the buildings turning some into barns, granaries, movie theaters, and concert halls. St. Peter's had a different purpose in its future. They turned this church into a swimming pool for high-dive competitions.

The church used to have the main floor worship area and two balconies to hold all the worshippers before 1917. When the Soviets took over the church, they built a huge concrete swimming pool from the basement up through the main floor and in…