|This article is currently under construction. Information may change as the article is updated.|
Matti Petteri Koppinen
President of the Uralican Evangelical Baptist Fellowhsip
| Assumed office|
1 April 2008
Headmaster of the Uralican Transdenominational Seminary
| Assumed office|
1 July 2008
Chair of the School of Divinity
| Assumed office|
1 July 2008
Member of the Uralican Tribal Council
| Assumed office|
18 March 2008
Treasurer of the Uralicist Movement
| In office|
1 October 2007 – 1 January 2008
|Preceded by||Lasse Mäkelä|
|Succeeded by||Kennet Kjetilssen|
|Born|| 21 January 1976|
|Children||Lauri and Miksu Koppinen|
|Alma mater||University of Helsinki|
|Religion||Uralican Evangelical Baptist Christian|
Dr. Matti Petteri Koppinen (b. 21 January 1976 in Turku, Old Finland) is a Uralica pastor, professor, religious authority figure, theologian, politician, and author. Easily one of the most recognisable figures in Uralica, he is often called "the Calvin of the East" because of his commitment to having a good theological foundation for his people, but also because of the fact that he is considered the founder of the Uralican Evangelical Baptist Church and on of the founding fathers of Uralica.
The son of a Lutheran priest, Matti really didn't have much interest in the faith as a child, simply going because he was told to. However, as a preteen and a teenager, he seemed to have a much more philosophical, pensive outlook on life and all of its major questions, earning him the nickname "Koppoklis" (a play on "Sophocles"), and he did well enough in most subjects that he was accepted to the University of Helsinki to study philosophy. It was there that he fell in with a group of friends that included brother and sister Juhani and Meri Vanhanen, and slowly they convinced him to start going to their church, which was an Evangelical church. His conversion came swiftly, and with it, a desire to preach the Gospel he had just learned. Because of his philosophical outlook, he came to a quick realisation that God was the driving force behind everything. His desire to study about God increased exponentially as he learned more.
Having started his studies in 1994, he stayed at Helsinki until 2001, in the process writing two full-size books about Christian theology - Hän sanoiko sen todella? ("Did he really say that?") and Usko, Toivo, Rakkaus ("Faith, Hope, Love") - that were published, and later even translated.
Unlike Meri Vanhanen, who had left Helsinki for Petrozavodsk, Matti continued his studies, going abroad to the United States. He had taken English as a high-school student, but had to take a year to adjust to the spoken English language, a process which he claims even now was sped up by divine providence. He studied first at Liberty University, then transferred to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he met both the famous homiletics professor Haddon Robinson and his older contemporary Lech Bekesza, both of whom would have an indirect impact on Uralican Christianity.
He studied there for three years before attaining his PhD, in the meantime writing his first English-language book, "Doing Things By 'The Book'." He returned to Finland in 2005 as a theological scholar, and was asked to teach at the University of Helsinki. Unfortunately, his job there lasted only two months before Cataclysm came around. He weathered the storm in his home city of Turku, then returned to Helsinki to help the people rebuild, trying his hardest to preach the Good News while at it. It worked to some degree, as by the time the city was rebuilt, he had a modest-sized congregation attending his church services.
It would be only a year, though, before injustice reared its ugly head again. In February 2007, the first rumblings of what would become the Uralic Purges caught the ear of several Helsinki staff members, including Koppinen and a future fellow Uralicist, Lasse Mäkelä. In the leadup to Great War III, several staff members got together to talk about this, and many of them went into Old Russia to protest. In spite of Koppinen's calls for restraint, many of them ended up "pushing too hard" and ending up in jail. The jailing did bring many legal experts into the debate over treatment of Uralics, though.
Having heard through friends that a history teacher from Tartu was trying to do something about the whole thing, but that he needed support. Matti did two things. First, he located said teacher, Dr. Vaido Kuik, who was in Syktyvkar. He then tried to locate Meri, who he knew was Karelian and was catching flak for her ministry not because of anything she was doing wrong but because of her Karelianness. Feeling something urging him on, he gave her a phonecall and said he was headed for Syktyvkar, which was a three-day drive away. Leaving in a large white van early on the morning of 13 March 2007, after making a trip back to Turku to say some goodbyes, he barrelled into Old Russia via Svetogorsk and had his foot to the floor for most of his trip northeast to Petrozavodsk, where he picked her up and then drove "sata lasissa" (a Finnish idiomatic expression meaning as fast as he could go) to Syktyvkar, while marvelling how she had all she owned in two small suitcases. (And he noted in his autobiography that he thought he was a light traveller.)
Meri did send a few text messages to Mäkelä as she had been maintaining correspondence with him and his defence lawyer (who was from Petrozavodsk) since he was jailed nearly two weeks earlier. He sent a message back saying that once the final loose ends were tied up, he would join them in Syktyvkar. It turned out he only lagged two days behind in the end.
Upon arrival in Syktyvkar, Matti met Vaido face-to-face for the first time, and saw in him "a man who needed Jesus," so after deciding to back him (alongside Vanhanen), he had a long heart-to-heart with Kuik about life, "religion," and Christianity, and apparently this lit a fire under Vaido's backside. He opted to be baptised at the beginning of April. He began writing articles about his experiences in Syktyvkar and sending them to various Christian newspapers worldwide, and contributing various ideals to the mix that would lead to the Movement becoming a Christian movement. With the coming of Ovdey Shlomov, he would find creative ways to incorporate Judaism into the mix as well, wanting to include the Jew's ideals as well while maintaining a "Godly perspective." Although a Christian pastor, he was one of the first to insist that Shlomov be a "major face" of the group because of his scholarly background and unique perspective. This made them surprisingly fast friends. It is worth noting that, although he attended regular meetings, he did not officialy put his chip in the Movement's pile until July.
Another major Uralicist whose conversion he was partially responsible for was Vlasi Malenkov. Although Malenkov was a nominal Orthodox adherent, he struggled with God until Koppinen had a heart-to-heart with him in June about various things including the death of his wife in the Purges. His writings and teachings had gotten the attention of an Orthodox Metropolitan in Cherepovets by the name of Nikolay Kosov, who contacted him. Although they didn't agree on every theological point, the two began a strong working relationship back then that is still existent today. Koppinen referred Malenkov to Kosov, who was responsible for Malenkov's baptism.
Koppinen's input of theological ideas into Uralicism would lead to a student of Bekesza's from Old Canada joining them, one Jarkko Salomäki by name. At first, though, Salomäki was interested in the military aspect of Uralicism, having first joined the military wing of the group, the Uralic Liberation Front, which until Kirill Zholtok and Ruslan Grishkin ramped up recruitment was merely a small band of moderately-armed civilians under the direction of Kuik. But having heard Koppinen was a contemporary of Bekesza, he began attending Movement meetings as well, and he liked what he heard. But he had a more radical idea of creating a pan-Uralic nation, and he was able to get the Movement's leaders - Koppinen included - behind this and other ideas.
Eventually, he was nominated to stand for the office of Treasurer because of his ability to run a tight ship financially, and because of the burnout of Lasse Mäkelä. He held the position for one term (three months) and then handed the reins over to Kennet Kjetilssen to focus on preaching and teaching. But one thing that really set him apart in the Movement was his commitment to prayer for the Lord to work in the hearts of people in the Movement, that they would be a beacon of light - and of ethnic tolerance - to the nations. One by one, high-ranking Uralicists would join him in this endeavour, although there was a blip in this during the Syktyvkar Riots of 2 March 2008.
Koppinen was one of the main proponents of the Three-Day Revolution, and in fact has been quoted as saying he felt it should have been earlier. But he led perhaps the largest vigil of any of those in Uralic-heavy areas, just as the mass migrations into the areas started.Template:Persondata