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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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.

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.

Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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