The nations that lie in the Caucasus mountain range have had difficult, even bloody histories. Even during Soviet times and in the aftermath of communism’s fall, armed conflicts have broken out and claimed many lives. In Russia’s Caucasus region, much of the area is dominated by Islam. Christian ministry can be extremely dangerous.
SGA-sponsored missionary pastors make occasional visits into this region yet must do so very discreetly. One of them recently shared the heartbreaking story of a faithful woman who has paid a high price for her faith in Christ. We have changed her name for security reasons . . .
One day, Anna was taken from her apartment to a police station. Her husband was not at home as he had been in a car accident involving a drunk driver and one of his fingers had to be amputated at the hospital. The police ordered Anna to put on her coat and follow them, but she told them her husband was at the hospital and she had two small children. The police then called Anna’s husband in the hospital, and they informed him that Anna had attended a “sect” meeting and she had to be interrogated. They forced her to ask a neighbor to look after the children.
When Anna got to the police station, the interrogation began. They began torturing her, using electric shocks. She lost consciousness four times and they struck her in the head. They kept asking her questions about her faith. While she was in custody, the authorities aired a television report accusing Anna and other women of being witches. After this interrogation and public shame, they let Anna go home. But her troubles were not over. Relatives including her oldest son began calling, accusing her of discrediting her family.
After a few days, we decided to take Anna and her family to another region so they could rest from their ordeal. We thank God for brothers from Azerbaijan who helped us financially. Anna thanked us, saying that they had both physical and spiritual rest. She prays that she will never have to “return to that prison.”
We are thankful for the faithful missionary pastor who shared this story with us. He ministers in a very dangerous region. Please also continue to pray for Anna, who is physically frail with health problems and seven children. These brothers and sisters are a vivid example of why your support for SGA ministries is so important. Thank you!
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