Belarus Video Download Page
25 Sep 2009

All 17 chapters now on line
17 HD Chapters on line

The videos  provide a variety of information concerning the people, their environment, and their culture as well as how you can become involved in reaching the peoples of Belarus for Christ. A brief summary of each of the chapters is provided below.    

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The Belarusians: A People Seeking Hope
Filmed September 2006

Belarus, a country about the size of Kansas, USA, is strategically located on the Eastern edge of Europe and only 400 miles from Moscow.  It was part of the Soviet Union until 1991.  The first few years after independence were characterized by personal freedom unknown to Belarusian’s.  They could move about within the country without fear of the intrusion from secret police and were free to worship and praise their God.  The evangelical Believer could now openly share their faith with others.  But this freedom of religion was short lived.  A new president was elected who rewrote the constitution and enacted laws that curtailed much of the free press.   Additional laws have made it difficult to share one’s faith or to start new evangelical churches.


Hope for the Belarusians

The desire is for all of the Belarusians to understand this proclamation:  “God is Love” and to know personally that God IS the source of love, peace,  joy, … hope.

Faith That Endures:  10:00   (HD-720mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)  The Gospel was brought to Belarus some 200 years ago and by the late 1920’s, many evangelical churches were started, even in the midst of Vladimir Lenin becoming ruler of what became known as the Soviet Union.  This was a difficult time for Christians since Lenin proclaimed that there is no God.  Religious meetings were banned and the once influential Russian Orthodox Church rapidly decayed.
A New Day for Belarus:  6:00  (HD-720; mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)   It is becoming increasingly difficult to establish new evangelical churches and Bible studies.  Gaining government approval for meetings and a meeting place is difficult particularly in the rural areas where there are very few Believers.  Evangelical Believers represent less than one percent of the population and are considered a cult by the government and by the Orthodox Church.  Nevertheless, many have a deep and enduring faith in Jesus. Those who seek to share their faith and to establish new churches continue on their journey despite the obstacles placed in their path.
A Church Planting Movement in Belarus: 15:30   (HD-720mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)   It was in the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s that an evangelical church planting movement was underway in Russia.  Missionaries from the Baltic region, Germany, Ukraine and Georgia began the spread of the Gospel of faith and holiness.  This message continued an eastward progression all the way to the Pacific Ocean.  In less than 60 years, the movement grew from no Baptist Believers to over 600,000.
An Investment for Eternity:  10:10  (HD-720mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)   The Belarusians are much like you and I … a friendly people who are concerned for their families and those about them.   They are also a people who have been victims of tragic world events … events that have left scars on the land and on the people. Growing up, the people of Belarus learn that to be a true Belarusian is to be Russian Orthodox. Of course, Orthodox churches abound but these buildings are not important in their lives.  The buildings, the icons inside and the worship rituals do not offer the eternal hope that can be found only in trusting Jesus Christ as their savior. 

The Oblasts of Belarus

During the Soviet rule, the country was divided into six administrative districts known as Oblasts.  These are:  Minsk, Vitebsk, Gomel, Mogilev, Brest, and Grodno.

MINSK:   4:32   (HD-720mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)    The city of Minsk, with a population of about 2 million is by far the largest city in the country and is an independent administrative unit.  This is also a showplace city.  The well maintained streets, the new busses, trolleys, and trams as well as the shopping centers and office buildings exude an air of prosperity. 

VITEBSK:  3:43    (HD-720; mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)   The drive up Highway M3 from Minsk to the city of Vitebsk is one of the most scenic in Belarus.  The rolling, tree-lined hills speak of a time when most of the country was covered with forests. 

GOMEL:  3:47     (HD-720mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)   In this district, the flat terrain and deep soil allows for growing a variety of crops. These include corn that is chopped and used for cattle forage, vegetables including squash and pumpkins as well as potatoes

MOGILEV:  3:52    ( HD-720; mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)    Mogilev, with a population of 360,000, is a progressive city with a well-kept park along a small river. The Mogilev Hotel overlooks the park and offers accommodations for tourists as well as business visitors.

BREST:  3:45   (HD-720mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)    The 200-mile drive on Highway M10 from the city of Gomel to the city of Pinsk in the Brest district passes through an area that was once unproductive swampland, peat bogs, and dense forests. 

GRODNO:  4:29    (HD-720mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)    In Grodno, the growing middle class seems to be real.   This is an optimism that extends much deeper than the surface treatment of the apartments buildings of Minsk and other cities.

Living Beyond Calamities of the Past

The Belarusian’s are survivors.  They have survived the long history of domination by outside influences; of being trampled upon like a doormat.  The bright colorful flowerbeds that bloom along the streets and in city parks are symbolic of the peace and tranquility that Belarusian’s value most.

The Killing Fields:  3:16  (HD-720; mp4-S; mp4-SW; mp4-L; Script)  Further down the road is a different kind of monument that is visited by few and represents a dark time in Belarus; a time that began in 1937 and ended in 1941 when Hitler’s army attacked the Soviet Union.  It was during this time, prior to the Great Patriotic War, that Stalin used the Kurapaty Forests as a killing field.  During this period, each day the NKVD ….

Impossible to Forget:  5:23  (HD-720mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)    The surprise attack on the Brest Fortress was the beginning of Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union.  He had over 3 million well-trained and equipped solders positioned along a 1500-mile front that extended from the Baltic in the North to the Black Sea in the South.  Hitler planned a quick knockout blow within a matter of weeks.  However, these plans did not expect the heroic and sacrificial response presented by the Soviet defenders.

Just Another Village:  5:43   (HD-720mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)   There are no houses … just chimneys where homes once stood … 23 in all; a stylized representation of wells that once supplied water to the homes … gates connecting to the concrete walkways where roads once were … all a drab gray, the color of ashes from a fire.  Nearby, is the representation of the roof of a barn. The sounds of village life are replaced by the solemn peal of bells mounted on the top of each chimney.
TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!:  11:38     (HD-720mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)    For the Orthodox Church, it is only 9 days until Easter.  But, in the dark of this night, an unauthorized test on the #4 nuclear reactor at Chernobyl was under way. The crew had disabled emergency backup equipment and turned off warning alarms.  This one thousand megawatt nuclear power generator located just south of the Belarus border in Ukraine used highly flammable graphite for the moderator. Then as these misguided tests continued to drive the nuclear reactor well beyond safety margins ….

The Belarusians of Today

Over 70% of Belarusian’s live in urban areas.  Most live in the vast apartment complexes.  In the rural areas, the horse drawn plow is still a part of life on the small farms. The older homes are wood frame construction. Some are showing signs of decay while others look like new. Usually, at least one Orthodox Church is in each community even though it may be small and seldom attended by the residents.

Cities of Belarus:  8:23    (HD-720; mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)    The cities of Belarus are a place to enjoy, a place for the very young, a place to begin life together, a place to grow old and a place to die. The open-air markets and other shopping areas are where people of all ages can be found.  For some, shopping appears to be an effort.  For others, it is an opportunity to check out the latest gadgets. But for a child, the real treat is sitting on the back of a pretend horse with his grandmother at his side.
Rural Belarus:  7:20    (HD-720mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)    Smoke from cooking and heating fires is part of life in rural Belarus.  As cold weather approaches, firewood is cut and stacked in preparation for the long winter.  Often this involves the entire family as does harvesting hay to feed the cattle, horses, sheep and goats. Just as in the earlier times, gardens are an important part of surviving.  They provide food for summer as well as winter and are always carefully ..
The State Religion of Belarus:  6:10    ((HD-720mp4-SW; mp4-LW; Script)    Eleven centuries ago Grand Prince Vladimir of Kiev chose Greek Orthodoxy instead of Roman Catholicism and Islam.  Upon his baptism, the Orthodox Church became the State Church of Russia. Today, the Orthodox Church is the dominant religious institution of this country despite the significant decline during the 70 years of Communist rule. The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 allowed Belarus to become a country independent from Russia.  With the support of the government, the Orthodox Church regained much of its prominence and today about 80% of the Belarusians claim the Orthodox faith.


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