On June 12, 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan traveled to West Berlin and addressed an enthusiastic crowd at the Brandenburg Gate. In his famous speech, President Reagan spoke pointedly to the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev when he said:
"There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"(1)
In November of 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, and then two years later, on December 25, 1991, Mikahail Gorbachev announced his resignation, the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time, and the Soviet Union was dissolved the following day. Oh, and I need to add one more item to the timeline: Russia opened its doors to Christian ministries shortly thereafter.
On today's Footsteps, Pavel Shifman looks back to those years in his home country. Reminiscing, he says, "It was the time when everybody was really open to hear the Gospel. It was a really wonderful time!" I would like to add: it not only was a time of "freedom and peace" but a time when the Prince of Peace was proclaimed freely in Russia!
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(Photo by Michael Parulava on Unsplash)
1. Ronald Reagan, "Remarks on East-West Relations at the Grandenburg Gate in West Berlin," June 12, 1987, online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project, accessed July 13, 2021, https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/252499.