41 Russian Federation
WHO IS THE LEADER OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION?
President Vladimir Putin is the leader of the Russian Federation.
HOW MANY CHRISTIANS LIVE IN the russian federation?
118.1 million Christians live in the Russian Federation. They make up over 82 per cent of the Russian Federation’s total population of 144 million.
WHY ARE CHRISTIANS PERSECUTED IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION?
In the Caucasus region, where most indigenous people are Muslims, Christianity is associated with the Russian occupiers. In areas such as Chechnya and Dagestan, leaving Islam to follow Jesus is seen as a betrayal of national identity.
Elsewhere, churches that are not Russian Orthodox are considered Western spies.
WHAT IS LIFE LIKE FOR CHRISTIANS IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION?
Many believers from Muslim backgrounds have fled the Caucasus region for their safety. Those who have stayed often keep their faith secret. Those who are discovered may be put under house arrest in an attempt to make them return to Islam.
And yet, there are believers from Muslim backgrounds who meet together, and have the courage to share their faith with others. Fatima from Chechnya became a Christian after a friend invited her to a secret home group. She says, "I expected to feel guilty about betraying Islam, but there was no guilt. When I came home I felt peace and joy." The depression and nightmares that she had experienced for five years came to an end when she asked Jesus to heal her. "Now I pray for my parents to accept Jesus. I know that it is possible for Him to touch their hearts even though they are Muslims.”
"I expected to feel guilty about betraying Islam, but there was no guilt. When I came home I felt peace and joy."
- Fatima, a believer from a Muslim background from Chechnya
Churches that are not Russian Orthodox may be denied registration, and their activities are often monitored by the government.
HOW CAN I HELP CHRISTIANS IN central asia?
You can give to provide vital support
Open Doors strengthens persecuted believers in Central Asia with Christian literature, training, livelihood support and socio-economic development projects.
£26 could provide four Bibles for children in Central Asia.
You can SPEAK OUT
Sign up for advocacy alerts for updates on how you can be a voice for our persecuted church family.
You can pray
Brother Andrew, the founder of Open Doors, says, “Our prayers can go where we cannot... There are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray.”
A PRAYER FOR THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Father God, please protect your people in the Caucasus region, and help believers from Muslim backgrounds to find safe ways to meet together. Give comfort and encouragement to believers who have been forced to flee their homes and communities. Please give courage and wisdom to other Christians who are monitored by the government – use their witness to show Your love to their families and communities.