Tag Archives: exile



Williams Roger


An Exile and a Compact of Freedom


When the court-appointed Mr. Hooker failed to turn Roger Williams from what were considered religious errors in October of 1635, the court ordered Williams exiled within six weeks. The Boston court postponed the deadline of his departure until the spring of 1636, on condition that he would not further disseminate his views. When they heard that he held private meetings, continued to preach his radical views, and drew away as many as twenty followers with whom he planned to set up a rival colony, they moved at once to arrest him and to put him on a ship ready to sail for England. Williams would not have survived if he had not already befriended the Indians. He later said of his winter experience: “I was unmercifully driven from my chamber to a winter’s flight, exposed to the miseries, poverties, necessities, wants, debts, hardships of sea and land in a banished condition…I was sorely tossed for one fourteen weeks in bitter winter season, not knowing what bread and bed did mean…exposed to a winter’s miseries in a howling wilderness of frost and snow.”


In June 1636, Williams and several friends from Salem established the nucleus of Providence Plantations just outside the Massachusetts Bay jurisdiction. He named the settlement to commemorate God’s providence to him in his distress. Until they could apply for a proper charter from England, they drew up a compact on June 16, 1636, promising to abide by “such orders and agreements as shall be made by the greater number of the present householders…only in civil things.” The charter of 1663 provided that “no person within said colony, at any time hereafter shall be in any wise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question for any differences of opinion in matters of religion, and do not actually disturb the civil peace of said colony; but that all and any persons may from time to time, and at all times hereafter freely and fully have and enjoy his and their own judgments and consciences in matters of religious concernment.”


Dr. Dale R. Hart: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) p. 247.


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Georgi Vins
The historic exchange
1974 – We should ever remember that this was the day that Rev. Georgi P. Vins was arrested    then on Jan. 27, 1975, at a five day show trial, he was sentenced to five years in concentration camps, followed by five years of exile in Siberia and the confiscation of all his property.  Vins had refused to have the local churches and their pastors controlled by the government.  His strong position had led to his arrest and trial in 1966 in which he was sentenced to three years in concentration camps.  Following his release, Vins continued his ministry and was sentenced to a year of forced labor in 1970.  After that, being under constant surveillance, he hid from public view and carried on his ministry traveling covertly, without authorization.  During the time that he was underground, his mother was arrested, tried, and imprisoned for three years.  Thankfully, President Jimmy Carter exchanged two convicted Russian spies for five Russian dissidents, which Carter insisted would include Vins.  On April 27, 1980 the exchange was made in NY, City.  Vins wife and children joined him later.  This was a major event at the time and news articles said, “Vin’s group is a secessionist “Reform Baptist” assembly that is more militant about religious rights than is the mainline Baptist group in Russia.”  Vins, like many of his counterparts in the USSR, was desirous of maintaining the age-old principle of religious liberty.  There are three types of church-state arrangements practiced in the world.  First is that which places the church above the state, the ecclesiastical is also the political leader.  Another puts the state above the church.  This makes the Political leader over the church.  Then there is liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment where the church has the right to be under Christ alone.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 128.
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Vins, Georgi

President Carter had him released

1975 –  PETER VINS AND HIS SON GEORGI SUFFER FOR THE UNREGISTERED CHURCH MOVEMENT IN RUSSIA – On January 27, 1975, Georgi Vins was sentenced to five years in concentration camps, followed by five years of exile in Siberia and the confiscation of all his property. His father Peter I. Vins had studied theology in America and returned to the USSR in 1922 where he ministered in Siberia. The ministry was fruitful but he was arrested in 1930 and sentenced to 3 years in concentration camps. In 1936 Peter was held for 9 months without trial before being released. In 1937 he was arrested for the third time while pastoring the 1,000 member Baptist Church of Omsk, Siberia. It was then forcibly closed by the authorities. Peter died in prison in 1943.  Georgi, after completing his education in Kiev married Lidia, who had led the Council of Prisoners Relatives. She was arrested on Feb. 8, 1970 and sentenced to 3 years in prison for her activities. When the Russian government passed a law requiring all churches to register, Georgi Vins refused and this led to his arrest in Nov. 1966 and sentence of 3 years in a concentration camp. After his release he was sentenced again for a year at forced labor in Kiev.  He came to America in an exchange for two convicted Russian spies in a deal worked out by Baptist President Jimmy Carter in 1979.  Pastor Vins died on Jan. 11, 1998 in Elkhart, Indiana.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from:  Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/   pg. 36

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