Russia (MNN) — Muslim communities in Russia are growing at an annual rate of .6%, according to the Pew Research Center.
But conversely, Russia’s non-Muslim population is seeing a negative growth rate of -.6% each year.
It’s estimated there will be 18.6 million Muslims in Russia by 2030. Moscow is currently the epicenter of the Russian Islamic population with over 2 million Muslims.
This population can’t be ignored and Russian Christians are reaching out to their Muslim neighbors with a new tool to share the Gospel.
Russian Ministries recently partnered with Biblica to release the Message of Glory New Testament, a contemporary Russian translation with several testimonies from Muslim-background Christians. Some of the text has been adapted to better reach those with a history in Islam.
“Because of some faithful support of our close friends, this edition of this New Testament the Message of Glory became finally available and is becoming a powerful tool in the hands of national Christian leaders, those who are so passionate about reaching out to Muslim communities in Russia,” says Sergey Rakhuba with Russian Ministries.
It started out as somewhat of an experiment. They first printed just 10,000 copies of the Message of Glory to gauge how it was received. But the reaction was so encouraging that the 10,000 copies were just a “drop in the bucket.”
With more and more Muslims going towards radical Islam, the timing of the Message of Glory New Testament is critical.
“Radical Islam is reaching even out abroad like those two Muslim terrorists [who] bombed the marathon in Boston recently. So I just want to emphasize that Islam is not always a peaceful religion as offered by some politicians today to the public,” says Rakhuba. “We believe [in] reaching out to Muslim communities before they get a gun into their hands. We’re reaching young people offering them the peacemaking tool so that when they read the Gospel, we believe their lives can be transformed and they will learn about true peace in God.”
Part of Russian Ministries’ initiative to enable Russian Christian leaders in Muslim ministry is also providing training and teaching seminars. These leaders are taught how to effectively reach their Muslim neighbors and how their congregations can embrace these new believers. The Message of Glory New Testament is now an invaluable tool they’re adding to their ministry.
“God is calling people out of Islam to repentance and faith in Christ…. This is our vision; this is our dream to see that many Muslim friends of our believers in Russia will accept Christ and will endure all the possible persecution that might be arising against them from their families, from their communities. But they–because of the transforming power of the Gospel [and] the Holy Spirit–will grow in Christ.”
Each Message of Glory New Testament costs just $5 to reach the hands of a Russian Christian leader for distribution. Click here to support Russian Ministries’ outreach.