Sites on the way to Grozny, Chechnya
The North Caucasus is a Muslim dominated region with a heavy radical Islam culture. Since 2015, Islamic State has been active here, fighting against the Russian army to establish a Muslim emirate. Many believers from Muslim backgrounds have fled the Caucasus region for their safety. Those who have stayed often keep their faith secret. Those who are discovered may be put under house arrest in an attempt to make them return to Islam.
And yet, there are believers from Muslim backgrounds who meet together, and have the courage to share their faith with others. Fatima from Chechnya became a Christian after a friend invited her to a secret home group.
“My name is Fatima. I am from a Muslim family. I was Muslim too until 2017. My friend Indira came to see me during Ramadan and told me about Jesus. I was in a terrible depression, felt fear and couldn’t sleep normally because of nightmares for over five years. Muslim prayers didn’t help me.
“After my friend had spoken to me, she invited me to come to a Christian meeting. For several weeks I refused to go to the secret home group. I consider myself Muslim and was afraid that it would be betrayal of Islam to meet Christians, especially during the pure and holy month of Ramadan.
“But I couldn’t deal with my condition any longer and decided to go. Everything I heard in that meeting touched my heart, but I refused to accept Jesus as I didn’t want to be guilty in leaving Islam.
“After two weeks I realised that my faith couldn’t help me. I went again to the home group and accepted Jesus into my heart and asked Him to heal me and my life. It was a strange experience for me. I expected to feel guilty about betraying Islam, but there was no guilt. When I came home I felt peace and joy. That night I slept so well – no nightmares, no fears, and no bad thoughts.
“And I couldn’t stop thinking: ‘What if my friend Indira had not visited me that Ramadan month when I was in such a critical condition?’ Now I pray for my parents to accept Jesus. I know that it is possible for Him to touch their hearts even though they are Muslims.”
Please pray with Fatima, that God will use her life and her prayers to draw many people to Him.
In cooperation with local partners and churches, Open Doors supports the persecuted church in Central Asia through:
- Literature distribution
- Biblical, children, youth, and vocational training
- Socio-economic development