Mourning in southern Russia after attacks

By June 26, 2024
stock photo, Unsplash, cemetery

Russia (MNN) — Russia’s Republic of Dagestan concludes three days of mourning after attacks by Islamic militants this past Sunday. 

The attacks targeted churches, synagogues and a police checkpoint in two cities. The death toll has reached twenty-one, most of them police officers, with 46 more injured. 

Eric Mock with Slavic Gospel Association says that by God’s grace, no one they knew was injured in the tragedy, but the churches are deeply grieved. 

“They’re more brokenhearted that there may have been some [whose] lives were lost apart from knowing Christ. So rather than worrying about the stress of their persecution, they’re more focused on what do they do to honor God in declaring hope in Christ alone?” 

Map of Russia, Republic of Dagestan courtesy of АбуУбайда via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Persecution is a reality for Christians in Caucasia.

“[Southern Russia] is a very unique environment where there are multiple multiple ethnic groups. Predominant religions are Islam and Russian Orthodoxy, and [believers] face a world that probably does not want them there,” says Mock. 

It’s an environment where Mock says evangelical Christians are “in many ways rejected as part of society, because they are not preaching a Christianity that flows from Russian Orthodoxy. [Also] being a Christian in a predominantly Muslim context makes it very difficult for them.” 

But God is faithful to lift up His people through difficulties. Mock says Christians can walk through these challenges with joy, recognizing that these experiences affirm their faith in Christ (1 Peter 4:12-19).

Please join in praying for the families of those who were killed this past Sunday. For the local Christians, pray that they will hold fast to the gospel in the circumstances God has placed them in. 

“In the midst of everything that we read, let us also grieve and also pray that the gospel moves even faster in a region that is highly resistant to the gospel,” Mock says. 



Header photo courtesy of Julia Kadel/Unsplash

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