Crimea (MNN) — A month after Crimea’s annexation, the Black Sea peninsula is still a source of contention between Ukraine and Russia. According to Reuters, Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council is backing legal moves to challenge last month’s Russian takeover.
An official speaking at yesterday’s news conference reportedly said that Ukraine was taking Russia to the European Court of Human rights, “accusing it of violating its territorial integrity and launching criminal proceedings against those officials responsible for orchestrating the seizure of Crimea.”
The declaration comes as Ukraine puts a stop to one of Crimea’s key water supply lines and the West imposes more sanctions on Russia.
Russ Hersman, CEO of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA, says now is the time to share Christ with a Crimean minority: the Muslim Tatars.
“When there’s pressure on a people group like this, it’s a time when God can break through what might’ve been a normal resistance,” states Hersman.
“The publication of the Bible coming out this next year, in 2015, is critical.”
The Tatar people have had the New Testament in their language since 1825. According to Wycliffe, there are also a multitude of Christian resources available in Tatar: the JESUS film, the Gospels, Acts, an illustrated children’s Bible the Pentateuch, Psalms, Proverbs, and more.
Translation teams are stepping up their efforts to meet the 2015 deadline and present a complete Bible to the Tatar people. The final consultant checks were completed last year, according to Wycliffe. And though the Joshua Project claims they make up only 0.01% of the Tatar population, Tatar Christians are eagerly anticipating the full Bible.
“Scripture is such an important part of peoples’ faith being able to not just survive, but thrive in the midst of challenging situations and even persecution,” Hersman notes. “And when the Scriptures are coming near to completion, it seems like the spiritual attacks just increase.”
Pray for the Tatar people of Crimea during this time of turmoil. Pray that the Lord will open blind eyes to understand His Truth. Also, please ask God to give the translation team strength, perseverance, and clarity of thought as they finish this project.
“The most critical thing your listeners could do is pray for the completion and distribution of these Scriptures; I mean, something as simple as equipment failure can hold back the publication,” explains Hersman.
For more ways to come alongside Wycliffe USA’s work, visit their Web site.