Christian Ministries in Russia Concerned by Militant Attacks

Christian ministries are concerned that violence will impact their work after militants struck the city of Nalchik, Russia on Thursday.

Christian ministries are concerned that violence will impact their work after militants struck the city of Nalchik, Russia on Thursday.

Sergey Rakhuba, the Vice President of Russian Ministries, reported that the local missionary at the ministry center near Nalchik fled immediately after the attack.

"Our children's ministry director for the entire area, Marina, had to flee with her family when the shooting started and she's not back home yet," Rakhuba told Mission Network News (MNN).

As a result, he said, a training seminar for all ministry workers in the region scheduled for the next two weeks was forced to reschedule as well as relocate.

Russian Ministries workers in Nalichik were quick to react to the emergency.

"We know that the city, the entire area is shut down, nothing is functioning,” they reported to Rakhuba, according to MNN. “The main communication places are destroyed, like the telephone tower was destroyed. It's a war."

Russian Ministries also told Open Doors, that the children's ministry director Marina Kudashev and her family were safely evacuated before the Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a citywide lock-down. Meanwhile, they are safe and waiting for word to return home.

The violence in Nalchik erupted early Thursday morning when gunman staged simultaneous attacks against three police stations, the city's airport and the regional headquarters of the Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Latest report from AP revealed that gunfire and explosions in the city have left at least 85 people dead. Chechen rebels claimed responsibility for the attack.

The devastated city of Nalchik is the capital of the mostly Muslim republic of Kabardino-Balkariya in Russia's volatile Caucasus region. According to AP, Chechen rebels' struggle against Russia has increasingly mixed with the Islamic extremism in the past decade, threatening the entire Caucasus region.

The attacks on Thursday are believed to be an attempt to stir up tensions among a variety of ethnic groups in the Caucasus region as well as native Muslims and the ethnic Russians, who are Christian, AP reported.

The bloodbath in Nalchik was in fact just 75 miles away from the town of Beslan, where Chechen militants attacked a school in September 2004, resulting in the deaths of 331 people, half of them children.

Despite violence, Russian Ministries urges all people to support Russian believers in prayers. It requests to pray for protection on all churches in that unstable region; to pray that training seminars and ministry outreach will continue to move forward and that Christians will be a voice of hope and peace in midst of terror and unrest.

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