Baylor’s Keston Center for Religion, Politics, & Society Welcomes Gulag Survivor Alexander Ogorodnikov

March 26, 2014
Alexander OgorodnikovAlexander Ogorodnikov courtesy photo.

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Media contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275

WACO, Texas (March 26, 2014) – Baylor’s Keston Center for Religion, Politics, & Society will welcome Alexander Ogorodnikov at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 28, in the Carroll Library, Room 316. He will share his experiences of persecution under Russian Communist rule in a lecture titled, “My Experiences as a Religious Dissident in Russia.”

Kathy Hillman, director of the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society, said his presentation will be a good reminder of the things some people go through for their faith.

“Even when we feel put down because of our religious beliefs, we have not experienced anything like what Alexander Ogorodnikov has gone through,” she said.

Born in 1950 and raised as “a normal Soviet child" in an atheist family, Ogorodnikov became a Christian after questioning the materialistic ideology of his upbringing. He was sent to a psychiatric hospital and later to prison for dangerous political criminals for his religious activities.

Following his prison release, Ogorodnikov has continued his religious and human rights activities, speaking before international congresses and parliaments in the United Kingdom, the United States, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany about the situation in the former Soviet Union.

He is working on a book of the events that occurred behind the Iron Curtain in spite of the fact that his personal archives and copies of his underground publications were collected from his home and destroyed by the KGB. The Keston Center at Baylor maintains the only archive of his Christian Seminar documents and the underground journals he published in the 1980s.

“Part of the reason he is coming to Baylor is to look at his own writings that he hasn’t seen since they were taken from him,” Hillman said. “And he will also be able to speak to the current situation in Russia.”

The Carroll Library is at 1429 S. Fifth St. For more information, call the Keston Center at (254) 710-4647 or visit

by Kristen Bennett, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805.


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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