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Mission leader cites the strategic importance of evangelizing in TransCaucasian nations
A church group appealed recently for stronger support for ministries in TransCaucasian nations such as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, noting that these are areas of strategic advantages for evangelization.
Russian Ministries said that there is an immediate need to train young Christian leaders in these areas so that they can bring God’s message of peace and hope to this conflicted region, Continental News said.
Sergey Rakhuba, president of Russian Ministries told Continental News, “The need is tremendous in terms of supporting evangelical ministry there.” Rakhuba said this after a recent visit to the area.
According to the website of Russian Ministries, Russia has plentiful natural resources, but lives in “spiritual and social despair,” and despite the presence new wealth, most of the country’s people are impoverished.
The website noted that Russia has been referred to as an “orphan-making factory,” with high risk for drug abuse, AIDS, street children, human trafficking, the preponderance of war refugees, poverty and unemployment.
Hope however can be found in the small number of post-Soviet Christian faithful who are not afraid to evangelize even in remote areas, according to the Russian Ministries website.
Calling this a “strategic time,” the website noted that Russia has a unique position in the world and holds distinct influence on Arab nations that have no relations existing with the U.S. Its location is also strategic with regard to its nearness to Asian countries.
A strong church presence in the TransCaucasia countries can then share in these strategic advantages in spreading the gospel, the website said, especially among groups of people who have been classified as “least reached.”
Rakhuba noted however that there are difficulties and challenges in TransCaucasian countries that must be overcome, according to Continental News.
Rakhuba told Continental News, “In places like Azerbaijan, Christians face oppression from the Islamic community, and many obstacles to their outreach ministries. But we see the church is more creatively trying to use all the possible opportunities there and reach out to their communities spreading the gospel.”
Rakhuba also commented on the situation in Armenia telling Continental News, “Armenia is considered a Christian country, with an ancient Christian tradition and the geographical location landmark of Mount Ararat is located on the border between Turkey and Armenia. However the moral state of that country tells us the gospel is very much needed.”
In Georgia, Rakhuba said there are many U.N. refugee camps due to recent war with Russia. Nonetheless, Rakhuba told Continental News, there is a rapidly growing church one mile from the birthplace of Joseph Stalin.
Rakhuba also said it is important to train young Christians in this area because many of them are eager to become missionaries themselves, and to witness in neighboring countries, Continental News said.
Rakhuba quoted one Christian in the area who told him, “I really want to be a missionary. I want to reach out to neighboring Iran. I need resources and need to be equipped to go and reach out to do this,” Continental News reported.
Rakhuba told Continental News that there is a need for copies of the bible in the languages of countries in this area. He also said there is a need for prayer and for resources to enhance training.