Russian Ministries is appealing for urgent help to rescue the next generation of young people from North Caucasus and other Muslim-populated parts of Russia, following reports that al-Qaeda is seeking to attract jihadis from these volatile regions.
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According to a report on the Foundry website, since the death of Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda has embarked upon expanding the global reach of its supporters including many parts of Russia. The report says North Caucasus terrorists have been using radical Salafi Islam to recruit disgruntled youth who grew up on the battlefields of the two Chechen wars. One of the first to do that, Shamil Basayev, was the mastermind of the Beslan hostage takings.
“I was very much disturbed by this article, which has been circulating in the US media co-authored by Janos Bakol. I’m very much concerned after Bin Laden’s death, Al-Qaeda are turning their attention to North Caucasus where they are planning to invest all their destructive power in brainwashing next generation young people,” said Russian Ministries’ President Sergey Rakhuba.
For many year Russian Ministries has been effectively equipping churches to bring peace into their communities and reaching out to their neighboring Muslim communities and bringing them the love of Christ, reaching out to their children their families, helping them with humanitarian projects.
But now with this latest al-Qaeda campaign, the urgency of Russian Ministries’ continuing work to bring God’s peace to this region has intensified.
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Rakhuba added: “North Caucasus is like a tinderbox desperately needing the peace of Christ. Radical Islamists are investing a lot of resources in recruiting young people there to fight for their destructive concepts which is where we’re working to support evangelical churches. We’re working in places like Vladikavkaz in Beslan, where many of the terrorists who were Arabs and were supported by al-Qaeda, who came from Chechnya and attacked the school resulting in the tragic deaths of 334 children and teachers.
“So what we do as Russian Ministries is train and equip next generation leaders. Then through all their evangelistic peaceful efforts, they will be reaching out to these communities especially through our most effective summer camps. We help young people get the concept of peace and hope, while they spend time with well trained, wonderful Christian young counsellors, who go to Ingushetia to organize camps or in Chechnya or Dagestan where more terror attacks happened for during the last two months than for during the last two years.”
Each year through these camps, Russian Ministries sees many young people and children from Muslim backgrounds turn their lives to Christ and then they want to impact their own families and communities. One example is of Marat, who came from a Muslim village in North Ossetia.
Sergey explains: “His family on his mother’s side is from Ossetia and on his father’s side he is Chechen, so he always believed he had to fight for his Islamic values. He always thought terrorism and destruction were the way to prove he was fighting infidels. But through coming on to one of our summer camps, he became friends with a group of young people from the local evangelical church and he accepted Christ.
“Now Marat says: ‘Peace is a more powerful weapon for eternity than any destructive options that were offered to me.’”
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Marat recently was baptized and now he’s working as part of Russian Ministries’ team, making his way back to Chechnya where his relatives still live. He is teaching them what he now believes and is hoping to now bring them to the summer camp.
“So we see how positively this works. Instead of destruction, young people understand the concept of peace and love because of Jesus. Now many young people like Marat want to reach back to their relatives and to their communities. I believe this brings a positive change and that’s why we invite Christians around the world to partner with us, praying for our people there.
“But we also need people to invest in resources to print New Testaments, Bibles and training materials, and support these young people to go out and organize summer camps and provide scholarships for these Chechen or Ingush or Dagestani young boys and girls to help them to spend one week at a summer camp of hope and peace. We know this will bring significant positive change, when we fight back with love, grace and forgiveness. I believe if we raise a young generation, helping them to build a life on this foundation I know, that will change the entire region for Christ and that’s how we can fight al-Qaeda and radical Islamists and bring peace to that area. When we partner together as a global Christian family, sharing our resources and our desire to work together, then we can change that area for Christ.”