Is persecution returning for Russia’s Christians? – New laws make evangelism illegal

The Open Doors Blog

On 20 July 2016, a new law will come into place that will highly restrict Russian Christians. No longer will Christians be allowed to evangelise outside of churches, hold prayer events, or legally have house churches.

So why has this happened, what is this law and what can Christians do now?

An illegal gathering of Christians in 1979. An illegal gathering of Christians in 1979.

Terrorism + Religion = Restriction

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According to the dictionary ‘loyalty’ can be defined as ‘the quality of being loyal’. Thanks a lot dictionary for being extremely unhelpful. So I went on and looked at the word loyal, which is defined as ‘giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution’. I saw a video on the internet captioned ‘must see – a dogs loyalty is amazing’. This was the video: . It made me laugh because it makes me question all my pre conceived ideas about loyalty. The question I want to ask is, who are you loyal to? Lets take the music industry as an example. Im sure there are some people out there who are ‘loyal’ to Ariana Grande as an artist. Maybe you are loyal to Channing Tatum as an actor or Zac Efron? Why are you loyal to these people? I bet that if these people were ugly, completely hideous looking, you wouldn’t like them, or be loyal to them as celebrities, or defend them to your friends. So I want to challenge you today to think about your loyalty to people, is it skin deep?

My mum spent some time in intensive care over the christmas holidays. She was across the ward from a woman named Shakira. Shakira was a brave woman who had been in intensive care for many months in a critical state until finally she received a heart transplant. Unfortunately during her surgery an incident occurred that caused her to loose movement of the waist down, completely paralysed in the legs. The one person who stayed by her side no matter what was her husband Joe. He brought her food every day, and always told her that he loved her as he left the hospital of a night. I felt privileged to meet this couple because I was able to see two people who are loyal to each other for the right reasons, love. Not status or money or looks. Joe wasn’t loyal to Shakira because there was something in it for him, he loved her regardless of her situation.

If you were blind, I bet that your opinion on people would be completely different. The people that you like because of their looks or their social status, you may realise are complete jerks. That kid that no one sits with because she’s not physically attractive or popular, she might come off as the nicest person in the world if you could see past her appearance. Proverbs 17:17 says: ‘A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity’. It’s really sad, but sometimes we have to ask ourselves if we would still love our boyfriend, girlfriend or bestfriend if one day they were completely mutilated by burns from a fire and had become completely physically hideous and unattractive, or if they became paralysed from the waist down. Think about who you are loyal to, and question why you are loyal to them, and if it’s for the wrong reasons, you can change that. And think about people who say they are loyal to you, is it for the right reason?

I call you, whoever you are reading this to ‘dare to be different’. Try and learn to look at why you give people your loyalty.

Love always

Sunniejean xoxo


Typical Troubled Teen

Maybe I’m being a ‘teen angst’ stereotype by what I am about to write, but sometimes being a high school aged teen really does suck. Sure, I know that I sound ungrateful and that we have it pretty good, we get most things for free and our biggest concern is usually school, but there are some things about adolescence that really suck.

Firstly, our hormones are at the highest level that they will probably ever be, so we can be usually angry, sad, frustrated or sexually driven and we can’t really figure out why. Just imagine a frustrated, sad, angry and moody monster – now imagine that there is a zoo were all these monsters are thrown in together to deal with each other – and by zoo I mean school.

School is usually the cause of a lot of distress for a lot of teens too. We are told that we need to work harder, for longer and do better. We are trained to think that we will never be good enough so that we will always feel the need to work harder – and we are falsely told that our year 12 results define the rest of our lives. Along with that we are constantly being interrogated on if we have made a decision as to what we will do with the rest of our lives – like we are supposed to know, we’ve barely lived a quarter of it yet.

On top of all of this, none of us really have a clue who we are – thus why we go through all the experimental phases trying to figure it out, whether thats going vegan and wearing hemp clothing, or trying to play the electric guitar and rocking skinny jeans everywhere. The media is always in our faces telling us what we should be – and why we aren’t doing well enough (and then they will go on to say what they can sell us to fix this problem – whether its a bikini, or face wash or a pair of jeans), and setting unrealistic expectations of our bodys and our lives (like we can all be stick thin lifestyle gurus who meditate and exercise every day). We all think that our friends are doing better at life than us because we judge their lives by their social media profiles, and lets face it, they only post pictures of the awesome things that they do/eat.

On behalf of all teenagers – I would like to apologise to parents for the constant grief that we cause you, I blame school, hormones, media and also our undeveloped brains. I hope that you can now have a better understanding of why we come across as so ‘troubled’ and difficult to deal with. We will grow out of it (some of it). So to all teens out there, lets stop trying to be perfect, and portraying ourselves as perfect on our Facebook and instagram pages – and accept each other for the flawed individuals that we are. We will all be happier because of it.

Love always

Sunniejean xoxo


I don’t like parties

I am a teenager, and so you would think that with that comes a love of parties. Most teen movies have some sort of scene where someone throws a party and someone else has their dreams come true (easy A, mean girls, 10 things I hate about you e.t.c) but since I have been a teenager (7 years) I have been to a grand total of three parties (yeah I understand thats not exactly ‘a lot’) and I have not enjoyed a single one of them and i’ll tell you why.

Firstly, I don’t binge drink, meaning that I am singled out at each party as the ‘sober one’. People are struggling to walk in a line, laughing and dancing and I am usually standing and observing, wondering what the appeal is about being dizzy and without inhibitions. Second, I can’t dance. And at every party that I have ever been to a drunk person pulls me onto the dance floor and tries to make me dance and I honestly have no clue what to do. My feet don’t listen to my brain and I end up looking like a moron (but not as much of a moron as the people who are blind drunk) waving my arms like a white dad at a barbecue. Third, large groups of people aren’t my thing. I don’t like gossip, but that is all that’s talked about in a large group of people. The music is so loud that we are all unintentionally yelling at each other and the conversations have the intellectual capacity of a teaspoon. Don’t get me started on the boys that roam around with the soul purpose of looking for a girl to manipulate, or the girls that dress themselves up to show off all of their assets, and then wonder why there are guys looking at them.

My idea of a good time is keeping a house plant alive, eating sushi while wearing socks and camping (or inside a blanket fort, whatever works). Maybe we could play a Baroque duet together, or look at a map and point out places we want to visit while eating Oreos and looking at aesthetic Instagram pages (with ‘Boy and Bear’ playing in the background). I like the feeling of ‘just brushed teeth’ more than I think I would like the feeling or being drunk, and would much rather eat a bowl of soup than drink creaming soda mixed with vodka. Sometime I like the company of books more than people, and sometimes I think my cats can read my mind.

So, if you are like me, a teenager that is introverted and doesn’t like partying, don’t worry, you haven’t failed as a teen. We all have our thing, and lots of people in one room just isn’t ours.

Love always,

Sunniejean xoxo

Dealing with negative people

Some people reek of negative vibes. They hate everything and everyone, sometimes including themselves, and nothing seems to please them. They will always be angry about something, annoyed at someone and just always extremely pissed off. I used to try and please these people – but I soon realised that there really is no point, they will always find a reason to be pissed off at you.

Negative people are everywhere, and with negative people comes two choices:

  1. You can let them piss you off – and spend all your time trying to make them happy only to be disappointed when they still hate you at the end of the day. You can get stroppy about them and in turn, become a negative person yourself
  2. You can ignore them. Just show Gods love to them but don’t let their negative vibes tear you down – just keep being happy and positive and show them that you really don’t need their approval to have a good day

Lets face it – you can make them pancakes and coffee, and set the table up nicely and they will still find a reason to call you a bitch, but at least you tried. Now you can have two coffees and double the pancakes.


Love always,


The lost art of writing letters

So, sometimes my Nan rings me at the most inconvenient times, life while I’m at school, when I’m at church, while I’m peeing, or when I am out jogging. I don’t know if its just bad luck, or if my Nan believes that these times are convenient, but whatever the reason, I think I know the solution to this problem:

Writing letters!

Think about it, none of those awkward silences, or weird questions that you don’t want to answer, just you, a pen and some paper. You can write whatever you want, whether that is a recount of your day or if it is a recount of the past year – as detailed or as vague as you would like. Then you can send it to your Nan (or Aunty Kylie, or whoever that random relative that rings you once in a blue moon is) and they can hold it in their hands and be reminded that you thought about them and care about them enough to write, thats pretty neat ( 😉 )if you ask me. Plus you can use stickers and cute enveloped and practice your cursive writing and put a little polaroid in with the letter, the possibilities are endless.


SO everyone who is reading this (which is probably no body besides myself), get out some paper and a pen, and write that relative that you feel you have been neglecting lately, or that friend you made overseas, or anyone really. You won’t regret it.


Love always,