How many Christians are there in the Russian Federation?
There are 118 million Christians in a population of 143.9 million, making up over 82 per cent of the population.
Why are Christians persecuted in the Russian Federation?
Persecution is highest in the Caucasus region of the Russian Federation, where most indigenous people are Muslims. Islamic militants are fighting against the Russian army to establish a Muslim emirate, and in areas such as Chechnya and Dagestan, leaving Islam to follow Jesus is considered a betrayal of national identity. Across the country, the government is imposing greater restrictions on Christian denominations other than the Russian Orthodox Church, which are viewed as Western spies.
What’s life like for Christians in the Russian Federation?
Fatima, from Chechnya, became a Christian after a friend invited her to a secret home group. Like other Christians from a Muslim background, she faces persecution from her family and community. 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.
Fatima knows that the joy of choosing Jesus outweighs the suffering of persecution – and the depression and nightmares that she had experienced for five years came to an end when she asked Jesus to heal her. "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.”
How can I help Christians in the Russian Federation
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in the Russian Federation. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors strengthens persecuted believers in Central Asia with Christian literature, various forms of training, relief aid, advocacy and socio-economic development projects.
“I expected to feel guilty about betraying Islam, but there was no guilt. When I came home I felt peace and joy.” Fatima, Russian Federation
Lord Jesus, please protect Christians in the Russian Federation, particularly those from a Muslim background who have found Jesus. We particularly pray for our family in the Caucasus region, that they would be strengthened and encouraged to share Your love with their families and communities.