On April 20-21 in Moscow, the Russia-American Institute (RAI) joined with ministry leaders who convened the first Russia Without Orphans Conference, an inter-confessional gathering to unite churches and social work organizations in the effort to promote child welfare and adoption reform in Russia. Following successful efforts in Ukraine, organizers in Russia hope to encourage increased adoption by families in Russian churches.
“A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation” (Psalm 68:5) and “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27) – these Scriptural refrains echoed throughout the plenary sessions, panel forums, and seminars of the conference.
RAI’s School of Social Work and Counseling participated in its recognized role as an academic and professional training center, with four faculty members leading seminars throughout the weekend. Dr. Ruslan Nadyuk, dean of the school, led two seminars and took the stage with a panel of specialists committed to strengthening the impact of the church on the social welfare system for children in Russia. He has been invited to represent RAI and the Alliance, Russia Without Orphans, when a federal government council convenes in Moscow to discuss policy and strategy for child welfare and adoptions in Russia at the end of May. As the evangelical church increasingly engages in pressing domestic issues in Russia, RAI has a key leadership role to play at the epicenter of this social action movement.