Because the influx has been so massive and swift, local public schools are strapped for teachers bilingual in Russian and English, low-cost housing is in short supply, and social service agencies are all but overwhelmed.
Because most of the Soviet families arrive nearly destitute and jobless, welfare costs are taxing the already stretched federal and county budgets.
About two-thirds of the 200,000 Soviet refugees who have streamed into U. cities during the past several years are Jewish, but most of the other Soviet newcomers are evangelical Christians--Pentecostals and Baptists--a group that until recently had virtually no established community in this country.
Soon, the faithful--all Pentecostal Christians from the Soviet Union--were praying for an even larger space."People were spilling over to the stairs and sidewalk," said the Rev.
Paul Demetrus, 75, the unofficial patriarch of the burgeoning Soviet community.
Since the Soviet Union's exit gates cracked open in 1988, this new wave of believers--bringing with them the appearance and culture of rural Russia and the strict customs of their persecuted faith--has grown to about 7,000, including many with double-digit-size families.
Sacramento is now home to more Soviet Christians than any other city in the United States, and accounts for nearly a fourth of the 30,000 Soviet Pentecostals who have emigrated to this country.
Because of the evangelicals' uncompromising religious faith and unwillingness to register their churches with the government, Soviet officials not only restricted their worship but also barred their children from higher education and the best jobs. sponsor, but waiting periods of up to two years are common.
Before policies were relaxed during glasnost , an evangelical family that applied for exit visas typically had their jobs and government-issued apartment taken away, and their children were kicked out of the government-run schools. Bursting at the seams, the Sacramento Russian Pentecostal Church has an average Sunday attendance of about 2,000, which overflows two of the city's largest Presbyterian church buildings.The Pentecostals rent the churches for Russian-language services each Sunday afternoon and return for a two-hour service on Sunday nights.To serve Asian and Pacific Islander and other underserved women and children impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking by providing a culturally appropriate and responsive safe haven, job training, and community services.My Sister's House seeks to eliminate domestic violence in the Asian and Pacific Islander community through family education, and by increasing the self-determination of Asian and Pacific Islander women.SACRAMENTO — It all began three years ago in a makeshift church in the back yard of Vladimir and Nadezhda Kuzmenko, who had just moved to this Central Valley city with their eight young children.The congregation of 35 quickly outgrew the Kuzmenkos' covered patio, then relocated to a rented building that held 180.