Murder mars peace in Chechnya

By August 25, 2009

Chechnya (MNN) — While the majority of the people living in the Russian Republic of Chechnya want peace, others don't. This country marred by years of civil conflict has seen more violence than any country should have to experience. While the war between Russia and insurgents has eased somewhat, violence emerged again, hitting a ministry hard.

Vice President of Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba says a couple who was helping at their recently-completed summer camp was killed. "They were just simply found shot in the trunk of an abandoned car. Apparently they were tortured and killed."

The murder victims were dentified as Zarema Sadulayeva and Omar Dzhabraiove–both human rights activists in Chechnya. According to reports, the couple was abducted on 10 August by armed men claiming to be part of security services from the "Let's Save the Generation" office, a non-governmental organization founded and run by Ms. Sadulayeva. Their bodies were found on Tuesday 11 August.

Sadulayeva was a tireless activist who was committed to creating public awareness about the landmine problem in the region and advocating for the rights of landmine survivors and other people with disabilities.

Rakhuba says the two, who were recently married, weren't Christians. However, "They were helping us very much, understanding that a Christian activity will bring more reconciliation and peace to their country," he reports.

Leaders in the region say they were very open, spiritually. "They were asking a lot about Christianity. They were very much interested in learning about Christianity. They were definitely from Muslim background–they were Muslims. But last year they asked for Christian literature."

Will this murder stop the work of Russian Ministries in Chechnya? Rakhuba says, "I don't think so. The young people still want to continue the work. And the officials want them to do it. Our people are so brave to go back."

A Russian Ministries worker we're calling "Sasha" told Rakhuba, "This is very scary, but our team is already committing next year to go back and to minister to these families and these children, because we see the huge change this summer camp brings to their lives."

Rakhuba is encouraging people to pray for the victims of this war, that people can continue their normal life and that healing can come to this region.


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