BREAKING NEWS: Pentecostal Pastor Shot Dead In Dagestan

Friday, July 16, 2010

By Stefan J. Bos, Worthy News Chief International Correspondent

Zina with her husband Artur Suleimanov who was shot and killed late Thursday, July 15. They were pastors of Hosanna House of Prayer Church in Dagestan's capital city, Makhachkala.
MAKHACHKALA/BUDAPEST (Worthy News)-- The pastor of the largest Pentecostal church in Russia's violent, mainly Muslim republic of Dagestan, has died after being shot in the head, in an apparent bid to intimidate converts from Islam, Christian rights activists and police said Friday, July 16.

Artur Suleimanov, 49, himself a convert from Islam, was shot late Thursday, July 15, by a gunman who opened fire while the pastor got into a car outside his Hosanna House of Prayer Church in Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala, explained Barnabas Fund, an advocacy group supporting Christians in predominantly Muslim nations.

"He died from his wounds in hospital around an hour later," Barnabas Fund added in a statement to Worthy News and its partner agency BosNewsLife. A spokesman for Dagestan's police, Vyacheslav Gasanov, said it was not immediately clear who was responsible for the killing, which involved one or more attackers.

Dagestan, which is over 90 percent Muslim, is plagued by insurgent violence, with many of the militants inspired by or affiliated with Islamic separatists in neighboring Chechnya. Two militants were killed by police in a clash in the town of Khasavyurt the previous day, according to local police.

FAMILY LEFT BEHIND

Pastor Suleimanov leaves behind a wife, Zina, and five children, the youngest of whom is twelve years old, Barnabas Fund said.

"Pastor Suleimanov was a wonderful Christian brother and his shocking death is a devastating loss for the Dagestan church," added the group, which had close contacts with his congregation. "He and the Hosanna House of Prayer church were very active in ministry and outreach in particular. We see his murder as an attempt to put further pressure on Christian converts in Dagestan."

Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.

The attack came after the pastor recently spoke about alleged harassment by authorities. He said his church had a five-year agreement allowing prison visits "abruptly canceled in early 2010" while officials also "changed" their earlier positive assessment of the church's work with drug addicts.

Forum 18, another rights group, said several Pentecostal pastors have complained that their congregations' lack of freedom was "overwhelmingly due to public attitudes, which prevent some church members from attending Sunday worship even at openly functioning churches in urban locations."

MINISTRY DENIES WRONGDOING

Dagestan's Ministry for Nationality Policy, Information and External Affairs has reportedly denied it imposes restrictions on churches' social work, but added that "the Protestants' activity must be in line with the law."

Barnabas Fund said it urged its supporters in a message to pray that God "will comfort" Pastor Suleimanov’s family and protect his and other churches.

They were also encouraged to pray that those responsible for the attack will be detained, and that local "Christians will not be intimidated by this act of violence."

4 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Pentecostal Pastor Shot Dead In Dagestan

  1. Praying!

    "All these are the beginning of sorrows.
    Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
    And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
    And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
    And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
    But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Matthew 24:8-13

    Forgive Them LORD

    "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.' John 14:6

    Forgive Them

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

    But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." John 3:16-21

    Thank You Abba Father

    In Jesus

    Love

    Joe

    • You Are Right On The Money My Friend, We Are Nearing The End Time, Our Lord & Savior Will Soon Break The Eastern Skys...He Is Coming Soon...God Bless My Brother...

  2. Why are we so startingly surprised when a Muslim murders a Christian? A Muslim is a Muslim is a Muslim & those who follow Muhammad & the hadiths can be involved in the murder of "infidels & Jews." It's surprising that no a lot more pastors have felt the wrath of the religion of the sword! Maybe the Obama Administration will come to grips with this particular enemy of liberty & Godliness?

  3. Muslims say their religion is the most true and good, that's why they kill those who disturb them. So that's why they ask all of us to become Muslims.

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