Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Saturday 24 March 2012
Lent Prayer - Russia
Country/Region: Russian Federation
|Russian Christians at worship|
Non-traditional churches are often unable to buy or rent venues for worship or to obtain construction permits, and much of the property confiscated from them in the Soviet era has yet to be restored. Some groups are subject to harassment and raids; the police may confiscate their literature and other property. A number of individuals and churches have been verbally or physically attacked.
The unstable North Caucasus region of Russia is being rocked by a growing insurgency driven by radical Islam. Militant Islamists are fighting to establish a separate state ruled by sharia, and in 2011 their suicide bomb attack at Moscow’s busiest airport killed 36 people. Christians face frequent harassment, intimidation and discrimination at the hands of the Muslim majority. Wahhabism, an extreme and puritanical version of Islam that is dominant in Saudi Arabia, is spreading in the region.
Your local newspaper is an excellent forum for publicising the plight of the persecuted churches. Editors usually welcome new subjects for their letters page. For example, you could say: that 200 million Christians live under the shadow of persecution around the world; that one in ten Christians worldwide live with discrimination or persecution; that thousands are killed every year because of their faith; tha t Easter is often a time of increased anti-Christian violence in some countries; that pastors and other Christian leaders often face jail; and that in some countries it is illegal to convert from Islam to another faith. You could also use some of the stories in this booklet or a recent issue of Barnabas Aid to illustrate the points you make. Keep your letter short and end with some kind of challenge to the readers, such as writing to their MP about anti-Christian persecution (see Saturday 3 March). And if you receive Barnabas Fund’s email news releases, why not try forwarding them to the paper or your regional news channels?
Barnabas Fund projects include:
- Ministry amongst Muslim Central Asian immigrants (Ref. 43-1030)
This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2012” -.