Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Gaston Espinosa

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© 2012 Mary B. Doyle


Over the past 150 years, Evangelicals have established a social infrastructure of organizations in Russia. Through an exploration of Evangelical engagement in Russia, this thesis asserts that evangelical salience will increase as other players in society -- namely, the federal government and Russian Orthodox Church -- continue to fail to address issues in society.

This thesis traces evangelical presence in the region, first in the Russian Empire, then during the Soviet Union, and finally in today's Russian Federation. The concluding chapters dwell on a critical growth period for Evangelicals at the fall of the Soviet Union, during which the totalitarian communist regime was replaced with western political and economic systems, while few formal networks in the new Russian social sector emerged. In this social vacuum, Evangelicals filled and continue to fill a unique role with their well-developed organizational model that simultaneously addresses social and spiritual issues on an intimate level with the Russian people. Indeed, while the general population of Russia decreases, and the number of Russian Orthodox believers remains steady, Evangelical Russians are increasing annually. What is behind Evangelicals’ continued growth? With a focus on their non-religious functions in Russia, this thesis sets to find out.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.