|To the President of the USA Mr. Jimmy Carter
From the Christians of Evangelical faith
Pentecostals and Baptists
Whom Soviet officials refuse the right to emigrate
Mr. Carter! We congratulate you on receiving the Gold medal which you were awarded for your irrefutable contribution to the International struggle for human rights and basic freedoms.
You can have no doubt that our sympathies in this sphere are on your side.
In our repeated written appeals we asked for your help in the cause of our DEPARTURE from the USSR. With this urgent need in the name of the Lord, our God and Savior, we turn to you now.
The officials of USSR are stubborn and don’t want to let us go. Their support is the leaders of All-USSR Council of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (ACECB) from which George Wins1, Kryutchkov and more than 10,000 believers – Evangelical Christians-Baptists (ECB) - were excluded. The withdrawal of ECB from the ACECB personnel was a heroic episode in the history of Russian Protestantism. Now this movement has lost its large-scale involvement because of brutal repressions on the part of Soviet officials. But its quality has increased and people devoted to the Kingdom of God with all their heart were forced to go underground.
We, heeding the call of the Lord: “Come out from it, My folk”, and citing the Universal declaration of human rights declared our decisive wish to leave the borders of USSR.
Our struggle against despotic power is not an equal one. Armed to the teeth, the government could settle accounts with us at any moment if it were not for international defense, particularly yours, Mr. Carter.
Today our struggle has seen some new developments. After one and a half years of waiting in vain for the right to exit the country, we declared to our officials our renunciation of Soviet citizenship on August 25 of the last year, 1978, through the mediation of UN.
The officials answered our move with the same silence that they have answered all others. They only ordered the lowest level of authority to give us the following explanation about the procedure of renouncing Soviet citizenship: “Your renunciation of Soviet citizenship is not valid. We shall consider you citizens of USSR until the Presidium of Supreme Soviet of USSR deprives you of Soviet citizenship.” We said we were not criminals who are to be deprived of Soviet citizenship but declared our renunciation of Soviet citizenship of our own volition. How can we be deprived of citizenship if we have already refused it? The lower level of authority answered us guarded: “We are simple people and tell you what the higher authorities told us.”
Our voluntary renunciation of Soviet citizenship reveals the secret that the people of this country have been enslaved by the ruling elite as their property, which they have and can have no political or legal right to do.
You must pay special attention to it, Mr. Carter, all the more as we see in you first a Christian and second a President. Your Christian duty as a man who gave the Lord a vow of good conscience (I Peter 3:21) in the christening day binds you like all members of the great universal Christian church to give a helping hand to your brother in need. You must remember that the families of your Russian brothers in faith are large and children, as the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ says, are in the first place members of His Kingdom (Mark 10:13-16; Proverbs 24:11). They must be saved.
Have you noticed, Mr. Carter, that the Lord Jesus visited his wrath upon this apostate country? The abuse of God (and the God is the Spirit) won’t be absolved either in this century or in the future. (John 4:24; Marc 3:29; Luke 12:10).
Therefore you must know in what measure and for what reason help should be given to this country. If you are not planning to ransom us with grain, then why do your enemies need grain? We are in any case doomed to death and it is not safe for you to feed your grave diggers. It is not natural to put a knife in the hands of people that kill you on the spot. We are not bookish men and don’t know much about big policy but in our misfortunes we tell you open what is in our hearts. You see how the Soviet Union behaves, or rather how the Soviet government does. Have they thanked you (we mean your country, not only you personally) for being a benefactor to the USSR: with grain, technology, credits and other things, did they thank you? We can’t remember any thanks and will never hear of it because the USSR is not able to thank anybody. On the contrary it abuses you in every possible way in all its mass-media. And we wonder every time that such an unprecedented malicious talk doesn’t offend your state’s pride. He who insults God also insults you.. Our murders and tormentors are accustomed to repaying good with evil. It’s natural that they pay you with the same because Hell is not capable of simple human emotions.
In the name of the God we entreat you not to be carried away by diplomatic rhetoric. It won’t get you anywhere and only amuses your enemies as they take pleasure in spending their time creating confusing logomachies. They come to their senses only when your side shows principled consistency in all matters: trade, aid, credits and emigration freedoms.
We would like you to ransom us for grain. A single human soul by God’s evaluation is more expensive than the cost of the whole world and there are many of us who need rescuing from this atheistic Babylon (Zechariah 2:7; Revelation 18:4). Consider it! You could arrange it. We will pray that you have success in this sphere. And remember, Mr. Carter, that God’s award for this work is far more than the Gold medal you were justly awarded.
Read all our messages and Declarations, copies of which we send you (don’t consider it a big task) and for the sake of God and our juvenile children find a way to release us from our great prison, from this house of slavery.
For 20.000 Christians that applied for emigration signed:
Bishop: Goretoi Nikolai
Deacon: Bobarykin Nikolai
Members of the church: Bibikov Vladimir
Dentchik Elena (Krasnodar region, st. Starotitarovskaya)
Deacon: Babitchenko Stanislav
Members of the church: Korotkih Veniamin
Rybak Lidia (Georgian SSR, Batumi)
Shubin Andrei (Ukrainian SSR, Kherson)
Deacons: Kovalenko Andrew, Kharin Filaret
Members of the church: Taranenko Vladimir
Borel Adam (Krasnodar region, village Karyer)
Bishop: Melnitchuk Pyotr
Deacon: Kravets Yakov (Krasnodar region, st. Leningradskaya)
Members of the church: Sklyarenko Vladimir
Shishikina Natal’ia (Krasnodar region, Maykop)
Pradun Evan (Krasnodar region, villages Kholmsky, Ilsky)
Gladnikov Vladimir (Moldavian SSR, Tchadry Lunga2
Tkatchenko Semen (Ukrainian SSR, Dnepropetrovsk)
Rybalkin Ivan (Kabardinian-Balkar ASSR, Boksan3)
Kovalik Nina (Krasnodar region, Beloretchensk)
Bishop: Litvin Vasily
Members of the church: Denisenko Aleksandr
Antonova Ekaterina (Ukrainian SSR, Tcherkassy)
Bishop: Bilyk Vasilii
Deacon: Lysyuk Stepan
Member of the church: Tchernithcenko Aleksandr (Ukrainian SSR, Sukhodolsk)
Bishop: Golikov Piotr
Member of the church: Golikova Valentina (RSFSR, Rostov-on-Don)
Zagumennii Vladimir (Donetsk region, Slavyansk)
Bishop: Ponomarev Evan
Members of the church: Gerasimtchuk Ivan
Gordievsky Nikolai (Ukrainian SSR, Zaporozhye)
Khandzhiev David (Ukrainian SSR, Tchernovtsy)