RUSSIA – CHRISTIAN PASTOR ASSASSINATED Christian leader Artur Suleimanov (49) has died after being shot in the head as he was leaving his church in Dagestan, a strongly Islamic republic of the Russian Federation.

A gunman approached and opened fire as Mr Suleimanov got into a car outside Hosanna House of Prayer in Makhachkala on 15 July. He was apparently singled out for assassination, most likely because he was a convert from Islam who was very active in outreach to Muslims. He was taken to hospital but died from his wounds an hour later. He leaves behind a wife, Zina, and five children, the youngest of whom is twelve.

Mr Suleimanov’s church is one of the largest Protestant churches in Dagestan. Barnabas Fund’s co-ordinator for the Former Soviet Union met Pastor Suleimanov a number of times and says he was “a wonderful Christian brother, and his shocking death is a devastating loss for the Dagestan church… We see his murder as an attempt to put further pressure on Christian converts in Dagestan.”

The Church faces harassment and intimidation from various groups in Dagestan, where the population is 98% Muslim and there is much lawlessness and violence.

  • Pray that Pastor Suleimanov’s family and congregation will find comfort in the Lord and that He will uphold them in their grief.
  • Pray that the murderer and all those behind this attack will be brought to justice, and that they will come to faith in the Lord Jesus.
  • Pray for protection over the Church in Dagestan, and pray that the Christians will not be intimidated by this act of violence.

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