The Bible helps ease pain in Beslan, Russia

By October 21, 2004

Russia (IBS) — International Bible Society is moving quickly to provide the hope and comfort of God’s Word to survivors of the worst terror-related human catastrophe in the history of Russia.

On September 1, 2004, the first day of school, a group of about 30 armed men and women stormed Beslan’s Middle School Number One. The attackers seized the school building, taking 1,181 people hostage, most of them under the age of eighteen. After a three-day standoff, a shootout between the hostage-takers and Russian security forces left hundreds of children and adults dead and wounded.

IBS-Europe’s Scripture response began mid-September, when Vladimir Sazhin, Coordinater for the Northern Caucasus area, delivered Jesus & His Life illustrated Gospels of Mark to Beslan children and When Your Whole World Changes Scripture booklets to their parents. When Your Whole World Changes is especially helpful in addressing from a biblical perspective the questions people frequently ask in the aftermath of disaster.

“We are giving out these Scripture materials as quickly as possible to people who were involved in this crisis,” Sazhin said. “We hope the Scriptures will truly ease people’s pain and point them toward God.”

The distribution of 54,000 Scripture pieces will be happening over time, including the two Scripture booklets, New Testaments, and Gospels of John. Since establishing its Emergency Scripture Fund in 2001, IBS has provided these and other specialized Scriptures to churches and ministries to use in crisis outreaches all over the world.

Individuals wishing to donate to IBS’ ongoing Emergency Scripture Fund may do so by calling toll-free 1-800-987-3595, or by visiting

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