Jay Rogers
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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.


Forerunner - Home » Predvestnik - The Voice of a New Generation

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 08:53 AM #

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Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 219 pages

Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 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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Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

Watch these pro-life videos on-line.

“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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