Keston Center Welcomes Russian Journalist, Host Panel on Religion and Secular Media

March 19, 2018

WACO, Texas (March 19, 2018) – The Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society is excited to welcome notable Russian historian Alyona Kojevnikov to its annual spring lecture, “HUSH! Religion and the Secular Media" on Thursday, March 22. The lecture will begin at at 3:30 p.m. in Kayser Auditorium inside the Hankamer Academic Center.

"Not often do Baylor students and faculty and the Waco community have an opportunity to hear someone like Alyona Kojevnikov," said Hillman. "She lived the Cold War as a journalist, broadcaster, and translator who successfully bridged the gap between religious reporting and the secular media. Kojevnikov is uniquely qualified to speak on these issues."

For her lecture, Kojevnikov will draw from her own journalistic experience and modern media trends. She will concentrate on the media's hesitancy to analyze religious issues and the inequalities Christian journalists face around the world.

"Persecution of Christians in certain countries – such as Nigeria and parts of the Sudan – is hushed up, lending weight to a view that this is an issue too controversial to raise," said Kojevnikov. "I'm looking forward to sharing my stories and explore the Keston Center's experience in media relations."

A panel of experts will accompany Kojevnikov’s lecture to inspire further discussion. The panel includes Robert Darden, professor of Journalism, Public Relations & New Media; Roland H, Smith, former ambassador to Ukraine from Great Britain; and Lynn Tatum, senior lecturer for Baylor University Honors College.

"HUSH! Religion and the Secular Media" is sponsored by the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society; International Studies; Journalism, Public Relations and New Media; The Keston Institute, UK; the McBride Center for International Business; and the Department of Religion.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. For more information, visit


Kojevnikov began working with Radio Free Europe in Germany in 1971. After becoming familiar with Keston College in 1975, she became its Information Officer. In this role, she maintained communication with religious dissents in Russia, sharing their stories with the world through the Keston News Service. The BBC featured Kojevnikov as co-writer and presenter of their weekly Russian language religious program.

She has served as an official Russian translator for many politicians in the UK, including Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In 1992, Radio Free Europe commissioned Kojevnikov to serve as Bureau Chief in Moscow when Western radio stations were allowed into Russia. Kojevnikov continues to serve as a Russian translator, spanning the fields of law, politics, poetry and literature.


Baylor University established the Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society to receive, maintain, preserve, expand and make available to scholars the Keston Archives and Library, the world’s most comprehensive artificially assembled collection of materials on religious persecution under communist and other totalitarian regimes. Originally located at Keston College in Oxford, the Keston collection arrived in Waco in 2007. The Keston Center became part of the Baylor Libraries in 2012.