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Michael-Archangel Orthodox Church in the center of Grozny - Flickr /  Vladimir Varfolomeev flickr.com/photos/varfolomeev/
Photo: Flickr / Vladimir Varfolomeev (cc)

On Saturday, May 19th, four gunmen stormed the Archangel Michael Orthodox Church in Grozny, Chechnya. Before they were shot dead by police, they had killed one church member and two security officers. Two other officers and another church member were also injured.

According to the pastor, churchgoers heard shouts of "Allahu Akbar" outside the church and rushed to bolt the doors just as the attackers tried to break in. It appears that the attack started as a hostage attempt. Along with guns, the four perpetrators also carried axes and Molotov cocktails. The self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group has claimed responsibility.

Chechnya, which is located in southern Russia, has been a hotbed for Islamist activity -- often attacking police, government officials and moderate Muslims. Militants have been attempting to establish a Muslim emirate in the region for years. The population is predominantly Muslim after most of the Christian population fled during the separatist wars of the 1990s.

Please remember the friends and families of those tragically killed in this attack. Pray for the healing of those injured and peace for members of the church who witnessed the violence. May the governing authorities act justly toward those responsible.

Country Information

Population
3,694,755 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African

Religion (%)
Muslim (85.9), Christian (6.4), Hindu (5.7), Other and unaffiliated (2)

Leader
Sultan and Prime Minister Haytham bin Tariq bin Taimul Al-Said (2020)

Government type
Absolute Monarchy

Legal system
Mixed legal system of Anglo-Saxon law and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Oman

Pray for spiritual openness, that the gospel might have a powerful impact on all levels and peoples in Oman.

Pray that Christians working in Oman will have opportunities to make meaningful contact with those around them and will share and demonstrate the love of Christ.

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