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Predvestnik: The Russian Language Forerunner

Conversion of Muslims to Christ in former USSR

By Jay Rogers
Published February 1, 1995

Over the past five years, we have witnessed God’s nation-shaking changes in the eastern European bloc and the former Soviet Union. Untold millions of people have come to Christ and many new churches are being established on a daily basis.

Now we are on the verge of one of the most historic ingatherings for Christ’s kingdom in world history – the beginning of the conversion of the Muslim people to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Islam is more than just a religion; it is a political power which has engaged in the holy war, or Jihad, in order to enlarge its borders throughout history. The hub of Islamic military might at this time is Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. In 1991, during the time America led an invasion to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein, a little known civil war was raging in the former Soviet republic of Tadjikistan (a small country north of Afghanistan). To date 50,000 people have been killed in Tadjikistan and thousands of refugees have fled to Russia.

This shake up of the Soviet bloc and some Islamic nations has opened some Muslims in this region to the gospel. The Church has been given one of its most awe-inspiring challenges in history.

In June and October of 1994, I took two 4-week missions trips to the former Soviet Union. The main purpose of visiting Kazan was to investigate the situation among the churches who are ministering to the Tatar people, an ethnic group which is almost 100 percent Muslim. Today, there are seven million Tatars in the former Soviet Union. Kazan is a city on the Volga river and the capital of Tatarstan, an empire established by the Tatar-Mongols after the time of Genghis Khan. Tatarstan has its own president and parliament and has gained autonomy from Russia in recent years.

Two and a half years ago, a friend of ours from Kazan wrote an article for Predvestnik (the Russian language version of The Forerunner) about the situation with the Tatar Muslims in this region. (This article appeared in English in The Champion, Fall 1994.) I then began to realize the importance of printing a special edition of Predvestnik in the Tatar language.

There are many young people coming to Christ from Tatar background. Yet there is little literature available in the Tatar language. During my travels to Kazan, I met over a dozen Tatars who had come to Christ in recent years. They told me of the opposition from their Muslim families and the difficulty in breaking their strong cultural ties to Islam.

I am excited about the prospects of ministering to Muslim people throughout the former USSR. Islam has presented the Church with its most formidable missions challenge. But now we are seeing many ethnic Muslims in Russia beginning to come to Christ. Since we have an open door to reach Muslims, we are pursuing this opportunity.

We have already produced our special “Islam” edition of Predvestnik in Russian. Sometime in the future, we want to do some ethnic language publications. We currently distribute over 25 percent of the copies of Predvestnik in the central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kirghistan. We want to produce ethnic language editions for these nations as well.

One linguist in Kazan explained to me that Tatar is part of the Turkic language group which comprises over a dozen languages and dialects in the former USSR, central Asia and western China. It is fairly easy to translate Tatar into other Turkic languages. Tatar is similar in some ways to Kazakh, Uzbek, Kirghiz, Tadjik, Turkmen, Bashkir, Chuvash, Uighur – languages of unreached peoples groups – each nation numbering in the millions.


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Your comments are welcome!

I have read recently that nearly one half of the population of Tartarstan is Christian and the other half, Muslim. Is this true?

Also, has there been any effort to the Bulgarian Turkish minority to bring them to Christ?

Posted by Dennis Knecht on 11/25/2010 09:53 AM #

Textile help

The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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