Michael Bourdeaux – A Tribute to Mikhail Khorev

Mikhail Khorev – Russian Baptist leader who suffered three decades of persecution to live in better times

May 16 1966 was a glorious day of spring sunshine in Moscow, with tourists from all over the Soviet Union milling about the central streets. On Old Square, outside the drab walls of the offices of the Central Committee of the USSR, there was a noticeable swelling of the crowd. This would soon be the first-ever organised demonstration in a communist country, with some 500 participants having assembled from one hundred and thirty towns and cities representing almost every republic of the Soviet Union.

One of the organisers of this unprecedented event was Mikhail Khorev, registered partially sighted and working full time as an itinerant preacher in the unregistered Baptist Church. The “Initsiativniki” Movement, as it became known, took its name from the “initiative” of its leaders from 1961 to establish free elections to the central Baptist leadership which, they believed, had compromised itself by accepting renewed state restrictions imposed by Nikita Khrushchev’s regime.  He had inaugurated a period of more severe persecution, leading to the imprisonment of some 200 leaders of the ‘Reform Baptist’ movement, as it is sometimes called in English. Continue reading “Michael Bourdeaux – A Tribute to Mikhail Khorev”