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Chechnya (MNN) ― Jihad rages on in the North Caucasus, but it suffered some major losses in recent days.
Some reports say bombings and attacks from Islamic radicals are a weekly occurrence in the political region consisting of Chechnya, Dagestan, North Ossetia, and six other former Soviet Union nations. As a result, Christian work must be done discreetly.
"They're very much Islamic terrorists, and that can certainly make things very dangerous for Christians that are there," says Joel Griffith of Slavic Gospel Association.
Earlier this week, Russia announced Gusen Magomedov--the last surviving militant involved in Moscow's 2010 twin suicide bombings--had been killed by forces patrolling a forest hideout in the North Caucasus.
In March 2010, Magomedov had been seen escorting one of the suicide bombers to her destination: a busy Moscow underground where twin bombings claimed more than 40 lives. The attacks were orchestrated by Chechen Islamist rebel Doku Umarov.
At the end of January, Russian forces killed at least 11 Islamic militants in Chechnya. Among the dead were two senior jihadists commanders, Khusein and Muslim Gakayev. The brothers were among Russia's "most wanted" men for their active involvement in terrorist activities.
Despite the deaths of these key militant leaders, Griffith says Chechen believers aren't in the clear yet. Pray that the Chechen government would take its foot off of the Church as it gains victories over Islamic terrorists.
Pray "that they would lessen the controls that are on evangelical Christians there to allow them more freedom to minister and operate," requests Griffith.
Pray also for open doors to share the Good News of Jesus with jihadists.
"Yes they're terrorists, yes they're out to committing a lot of violence and atrocities, but they're still human beings in need of the Gospel," says Griffith.
SGA supports missionary pastors who live in neighboring countries and visit Chechnya to encourage believers there. You can help their work by clicking here.
"When they go into Chechnya and some of these other heavily-Islamic regions of the Caucasus Mountains, they do so in a very low-key way, and we don't publicize when and where and what they're doing," Griffith explains.
"We know that God is at work changing hearts and lives, so we just need to remember them in prayer, that they would find more opportunities and that the people would come to saving faith there."