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Sochi

By Pioneers-USA

Notorious events in Russia easily make US headlines. With the Winter Olympics being held in Sochi just a short distance from the troubled Caucasus region it's a great season to remember God's heart for 50-60 Unreached People groups there. Pioneers people have been working among these minority-population ethnic groups for 17 years already! So what's it like there?

A narrow 300-plus mile sector lying between the Black and the Caspian Seas, the Caucasus region is home to some 50-60 minority people groups, most of whom are of non-slavic ethnicity and Muslim.

“The further east one travels,” explains a Pioneer working nearby, “the more devout the practice of faith becomes for these inhabitants.”

Operation World identifies the Caucasus region as Europe’s least-evangelized region, with little in the way of Scripture translations or churches. The Caucasus region is not only one of Geographic Russia's least stable regions, but also the poorest, with the highest unemployment and the highest birthrates as well.

People groups of the region are isolated from one another by the rugged terrain and by the violence of their historical conflict with one another—violence that has even reached parts of the world unaware of the religious and political realities of that region.

“They don’t get along with each other well, much less the outside world,” says the Pioneer.

From the point of view of 12 disparate militant Islamist factions functioning in the region, the Sochi Games are a perfect time to raise awareness of their plight and worldview—perhaps with violence. The security at the Olympics and of the rest of the region is a critical component in the coming weeks.

“Many people know little of the geography or existence of these unreached peoples,” he continues. “Our prayer is that believers everywhere will learn about and awaken to the spiritual need of every single tribe and tongue represented in the North Caucasus.”

This Pioneer and his wife encourage others to look beyond the “fear and sensationalism” to the long history of the region, praying for God’s kingdom to come to Sochi and the surrounding area. And the Olympics are a natural place to start. Ask the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of Christians everywhere to raise up new laborers who are willing to show the love of Christ to the people of the North Caucasus. 

 

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