Muslims in Moscow

moscow-russia-30-days-netA Tide From Central Asia

We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. -John 9:4 (ESV)

Russia is known for its rich history, the perseverance of its people through hardships, and its architectural masterpieces. Solemn paintings of icons, vast steppes, snowy forests, or cups of steaming tea and rosy, borsch soup may come to mind when you think of Russia.

Yet the face of Russia is rapidly changing. Moscow, Russia’s capital, has the largest Muslim population of any European city. Estimates range from 400,000 Muslims to 2-3 million (illegal aliens probably number in the hundreds of thousands).

Moscow’s Muslims

Many of Moscow’s Muslims come from the poor, former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Tajiks, Uzbeks, Afghans, Kazakhs, Tatars, and many others are coming in record numbers, looking for work of any kind. They often live together in cramped quarters and squalid conditions, saving as much as they can to send home to their families. They face beating, murder, even bombings and many are modern-day slaves to fearful, resentful and rough employers. Life in Moscow is not easy but it is sometimes far better than the bleak prospects back home.

Ministry Potential

Being away from their home country, familiar traditions, and family and cultural pressure presents new temptations for Central Asian Muslims but also a new openness to hear the truth of God’s Word. “I used to hate Russia and didn’t want to come back,” said a Muslim-background believer (MBB). After seeing the potential for reaching Muslims from his home country, he became excited about the potential for ministry. “Now I feel like Russia is my second homeland,” he says.

Outreach in Moscow

Although the Jesus film, Mary Magdalene DVD and CARS Bible (Central-Asian Russian Scriptures) are well received, there are only small numbers of believers specifically reaching out to Muslims. Since Muslims in Moscow are often immigrants, they are overwhelmed with life in such a big city, lonesome for family, and seeking friendship. It is a good moment to proclaim the Gospel to them.

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Flag of Russia

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Map of Russia

Prayer Starters:

  • Ask God to open the hearts of Muslims in Russia.
  • Pray for the translation and printing of quality Christian literature for Russian-speaking Muslims and new believers learning to walk with the Messiah.
  • Pray for unity, vision and wisdom for leaders throughout Russia to take the gospel to Muslims in Russia– making disciples of them in such a way that they are encouraged, enabled and equipped to do the same.
  • Pray for concrete, practical steps by Russian churches to reach out to Muslims around them.
  • Pray for the discipleship of young believers. There are few congregations for those coming to the Messiah, most are Kazakh only.
Listen to the Podcast – DAY 21 – Muslims in Moscow, Russia

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Background Information on Russia

Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy, was able to emerge from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) and to gradually conquer and absorb surrounding principalities. In the early 17th century, a new Romanov Dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under PETER I (ruled 1682-1725), hegemony was extended to the Baltic Sea and the country was renamed the Russian Empire.

During the 19th century, more territorial acquisitions were made in Europe and Asia. Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 contributed to the Revolution of 1905, which resulted in the formation of a parliament and other reforms. Repeated devastating defeats of the Russian army in World War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow in 1917 of the imperial household. The Communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed the USSR. The brutal rule of Iosif STALIN (1928-53) strengthened Communist rule and Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives.

The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the following decades until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize Communism, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered the USSR into Russia and 14 other independent republics. Since then, Russia has shifted its post-Soviet democratic ambitions in favor of a centralized semi-authoritarian state whose legitimacy is buttressed, in part, by carefully managed national elections, President PUTIN’s genuine popularity, and the prudent management of Russia’s windfall energy wealth. Russia has severely disabled a Chechen rebel movement, although violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus.

The Economy of Russia

Russia has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union, moving from a globally-isolated, centrally-planned economy to a more market-based and globally-integrated economy. Although Russia is the worlds largest country in terms of area, its unfavorably location means much of the country lacks proper soils and climates (either too cold or too dry) for agriculture. A severe drought and fires in central Russia further reduced agricultural output. Russia’s long-term challenges include a shrinking workforce, a high level of corruption, difficulty in accessing capital for smaller, non-energy companies, and poor infrastructure in need of large investments.

Statistics on Russia

Population: 142,500,482 (July 203 est.), World Rank #9

Life expectancy at birth: 69.85 years, World Rank #161

Ethnic Groups: Russian 79.8%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 2%, Bashkir 1.2%, Chuvash 1.1%, other or unspecified 12.1%

Religions: Russian Orthodox 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2%

Languages: Russian (official), many minority languages

Literacy: 99.7%

School Life Expectancy: 14 years

Video: Russia’s Muslims Demand More Mosques (4:28)


Comments

  1. i will pray for Muslims in Moscow:
    * for protection for the small but growing number of MBBs among Muslims in Moscow
    * for visions and dreams of Isa (Jesus) for Moscow Muslims
    * for development of viable Christian literature for Muslims and MBBs in Moscow
    * for openess to the Gospel among the Central Asia workers away from home
    * for distribution of the Good News Bible, a Russian-langauge Bible sensitive to Central Asia Muslims
    * for more Christian prayer warriors, adovcates, senders, givers, and goers for these Muslims
    * for imrpovement of living conditions for these often unwanted workers
    * for effective use of radio, tv, internet, and mobile phone ministires with these Muslims
    * for Russian Christians to get a burden for the Muslims amongst them
    * for raising up of strong fellowships for each Muslim people group in Russia

  2. It is predicted that in Russia, the Muslim believers will be in a high number as the silicon particles in the sand.
    It was predicted 120 years ago by the founder of Jamat Ahmadiyya in Qadian India named Mirza Ghlum Ahmad Qadiyyani a.s. Mirza Sahib got a revelation (a knowledge from Allah)

  3. Buford Joseph Dowell says:

    IF MUSLIMS CAN BUILD MOSQUE IN RUSSIA, THE USA AND OTHER NATIONS, CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE ABLE TO BUILD CHURCHES IN MECCA AND OTHER ARAB NATIONS!!

    • AHMAD CHAARAOUI says:

      CHRISTIANS CAN BUILD CHURCHES IN ANY ARAB COUNTRIES EXCEPT MACCA AND MADINA . THIS IS NOT ALLOWED . IT IS LIKE IT IS FORBIDDEN TO BUILD A MOSQUE IN VATICAN MY FRIEND . I AM LEBANESE AND WE HAVE PLENTY OF CHURCHES IN LEBANON . SAME THING IN SYRIA AND JORDAN AND PALESTINE ETC..

      • Dear Brother Buford Joseph Dowell,

        I understand why you said what you have said.
        The truth is that the nations of Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, etc have large Christian and Jewish minorities (even now). They get along very well with Muslims and have done so since the time of the Prophet. In fact the Muslims of these nations are descendants of Christian and Jewish converts to Islam.

        Many of the churches are older than Islam itself, and as Islamic law does not allow the desecration of religious buildings or the forceful conversion of individuals, these churches were preserved. Although there were certain (very minor) periods of history, when these Islamic laws were not adhered to as they should be (similar to any other regions of the world).

        Not only that but several churches were built by the taxpayers of the Islamic state, as Islamic law allows (and encourages) public funds to be given for different ethnic groups. In fact the patriarch of various Christian denominations have been based in the Middle East and were supported by Muslim governments (as representatives of their denominations) and given representation in shura (council) meetings.

        A good example of this is the St Catherine Monastery in Sinai (Egypt).

        As a good Christian, I am sure you will be empathetic and sensitive to our frustration with these lies, especially as though shalt not lie is one of the 10 commandments. I hope you will try to rectify this by spreading the truth to undo the damage done by your false Christian brothers. Just as extremist Muslims give a bad name to the average muslim, the lies above and the attitude of moral superiority/contempt and lack of historical/cultural understanding by Americans give the USA and Christians a bad name.

        Regards,

        Taj

        • Many countries refuse islam came to their countries because they are afraid of Muslims who will run the contents of the Qur’an, as a result of the above paragraph, then there are millions of Muslims leaving Islam because it considers the teaching of islam is not correct.
          What if the contents of the Qur’an in the fix and in revision?

    • Since when is Moscow the Mecca for Christians?

    • yes, they can if they are worshiping one God not three or two gods

  4. Bible itself describes Jesus praying by touching the ground with his forhead, why would you not follow his example?

  5. a number of countries reject Islam came to their country because they fear Muslims will impose these verses of the Qur’an in their country
    There are millions of Muslims leaving Islam because this verses, they regard the Qur’an is not true, so is there should modifications and improvements to the Qur’an in order to be accepted by all?.

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