Russia (MNN) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to annihilate “terrorists” following two deadly bomb attacks in Volgograd, Russia this week. One blast in a train station, the other on a trolleybus killed 34 people, raising security fears one month before the Winter Olympics in Sochi, 400 miles away.
Those threats are a concern for evangelical Christian leaders in the country, especially as ministry is gearing up surrounding Russian Christmas and the Winter Olympics.
Joel Griffith with Slavic Gospel Association says the president’s vow could affect Christian ministry. “Certainly the secular government is concerned about Muslim extremism, and they will use that as reasons to justify crackdowns. Unfortunately, peaceful evangelical churches tend to get roped together along with that, and they suffer the consequences.”
Griffith says area churches are interested in one thing: the Gospel. Since Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7, many Christians are just starting the Christmas/New Year ministry. Griffith says SGA’s Emmanuel’s Child program is underway. “It’s a great opportunity to be able to not only provide a Christmas gift of some kind for a lonely forgotten orphaned child, but also to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel.”
The terrorist attack, coupled with the two events, is giving Christians a platform. “In the midst of this hate and anger, in the midst of terror, the peace and grace and mercy and love of Christ through the power of the Gospel is what they want to communicate.”