Somehow, unnoticeably, the words terrorist, hostages and antiterrorist action have recently come into our life. Apparently, we do not pay attention to the stories where two or three people are injured or have died because of terrorist actions. Meanwhile, in Russia, one and half thousand people have died and eight thousand have been injured in the last ten years. Terrorist attacks are getting more refined, cruel and more lives are taken. The seizure of the school in Beslan proves that. Our country has not seen such a tragedy before.

On the 26th of September, there was a service of all evangelistic churches of Izhevsk, other towns and districts of Udmurtia and neighboring regions. The demarche was called “Christians against terrorism”; it was the biggest meeting of the protestant churches of the Republic in the last months. Christians were gathered together in order to honor the memory of those who died, to pray for the children who survived and their families, but mostly, to express our own position toward current events in our country. The last events have already been called as an unannounced war.

The meeting of evangelistic churches received support from the republican and local authorities, in which representatives participated in the last meeting as well.

The mayor of Izhevsk, Victor Vasilyevich Balakin, reported that additional measures of the security system have taken place in schools and other children’s organizations in order to avoid all possible terrorist attacks.

The Assistant of the Minister of Internal Affaires of Udmurt Republic, Gennady Gennadyevich Ratov, said he was glad there were so many people who are not indifferent to people’s grief and who do recognize the danger of terrorism clearly. The Assistant of the Ministry noticed that such meetings demonstrate the health powers in society that are able to resist the evil.

The Assistant of the Head-Office on Prevention of Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affaires of Udmurt Republic, Anatoly Michaylovich Reicyev, reminded all of being very watchful, especially during mass activities. Nowadays, simple citizens are able to oppose terrorism effectively with out being indifferent to everything that is happening around them, from suspected parcel on the street and the carelessness of policemen.

The Assistant of Head-Office of Integration with Social Unions of Management of Social Political Information of Administration of the President and Government of Udmurt Republic, Sergey Igorevich Ilyinsky, pointed to the religious and moral aspects of the problem. Many terrorists act in the name of Muslim denominations. However, these people do not have anything to do with Islam at all. Their goal is to split the society and to sow religious intolerance using the name of this or that denomination. After people grasp this concept in their mind, it does lead to unexpected consequences.

The pastor’s speeches of evangelistic churches were very important in this meeting. The senior pastor of United Churches “Philadelphia”, Pavel Zhelnovakov, talked about the essence of terrorism and its danger from the Bible’s point of view.

- Today we need to try and understand what God thinks of the actions that are happening in society and the church. We are still shocked to hear how terrorists are equipped with grenade discharger cups, but we have already become used to the terror of street hooligans, terror in families, and terror against human rights. We have gotten used to the terrorism depicted in the mass media.

I want to remind each one of you that when a person forgets the first commandment: “I am the Lord, your God. You shall have no other gods before me.” and refuses God’s authority, he is destined to become the terrorist, big or little, in the broad meaning of this word. He is destined to steel, kill and do evil. When a person forgets the first commandment, God is replaced in man. After that, all manner of terror will be started.

Today, the church needs to take that part of responsibility which the Lord puts on Christians. Terrorism develops because of negative processes which are happening not only in the society but in the church as well. The people’s weaknesses, in front of terrorists, are the church’s weaknesses as well. The Lord said, “You are the light of the world,” which means that believers must hold the light on what is really happening in this world, of which people are afraid or do not want to see. We must open our eyes. Today, we need to restore God’s authority. We need to pray that many people will be able to come to their work, school or the authorities and tell about God’s truth and what He thinks about what is happening in this world.

Considering the last events, we need to understand clearly who is behind the world terrorism. There is a visible part of this iceberg which belongs to terrorists, fanatics with grenade discharger cups, and dirty officers. But there is also, the invisible part which is more dangerous. We all know very well the name of him who wants to destroy mankind by using the human being’s cruelty and greediness. The devil is the murderer of mankind from the very beginning. He has become more cunning and angry and full of meanness because he knows he does not have a lot of time. That’s why he tries to use his short time effectively.

The task of the terrorist is to sow fear, hatred, chaos and disorder in society. This is the field of evil’s activities. Dear brothers and sisters, look at your lives. Isn’t there less disorder in the Christian’s life? Don’t we have disorder in our prayers, thoughts and our attitude toward to God?

The aim of the terrorism is a bloodless and quiet accession of the Antichrist. There have been voices heard already: “let loose all our rights and freedoms and have a police government, tailing and squealers, but then we will have peace and security”. These are not just words. If we have some more tragedies like the one in Beslan, then many will say: “take all our rights and freedoms but guarantee a peaceful life”. That is exactly what terrorism does: it tries a new approach: it hopes that we will cry out ourselves for a “hard hand” and a rode with iron. When the people’s fear for their lives is stronger than a desire to live as free people, the evil spirit will come and say that he guarantees safe life for all mankind. Then the world will kneel, not daring and willing to put their heads up. The world will get tied with devil’s nettings itself. After that, the reign of Antichrist will come.

In this situation, the church has to pray, seriously, about not loosing rights that were given by God because they cost too much. We, certainly, have to pray about God’s judgment on Earth so that not only visible devil structures are destroyed but also Satan’s nettings where he tries to catch many people who do not realize that they are getting on the pathway of death.

The pastor from Beslan’s church, Nikolai Nikolayevich Kobzev, was in that service as well. He was there during those tragic days. He told that the tragedy in a little town in North Ossetia really touched everybody. The tragedy has not avoided Christian families. Among the hostages there were the children from Church Sunday school “Amud”. Nine children, out of 34, are alive and healthy and two were injured. The rest of them died or still are considered to be missing.

The mission of Christian mercy in the North Ossetia has announced the intentions to start the building of a rehabilitation center for children who were hostages or that have suffered from terrorists somehow. That center will not be for the children from Beslan only, but also for children from other towns in Russia where terrorists have done their dirty things.

During the first days after the tragedy in Beslan, many believers started coming willingly to help the families who had suffered. The help from many of them, especially Christian psychologists, was very appropriate, at that time, because most of the children, who were held hostage, are afraid of any noise. Many parents, who lost their children, do not want to believe that their children are gone, though there is no chance that anyone will be found alive after so much time has elapsed.

The Christians of North Ossetia ask brothers and sisters to pray for those people so that they will find comfort in the Lord and come to Him.

The leaders of big evangelistic communities of Udmurtia expressed the attitude of believers to the tragedy. Bishop of Udmurt Eparchy of churches “The Deal of the Faith” Yuri Nikolayevich Degtyar:

- Today people, pastors as well, ask many questions: How to live further and how to live in this fear and terror? Why did it happen? Why did God let such a tragedy happen? Christians have to give the answers to those questions. How to live? - To live in God! We need to tell people that in spite of any situation we have God, the name of which is always on our lips. To live in God, to praise His name and to find comfort in Him, is the only possible way not to live in fear of the unknown and the eternal death.

Pastor “God’s Church” Peter Ovechkin:

- Today there are some voices that try to find the guilty ones in Beslan’s tragedy. God have mercy on us so that we will not join that crazy choir. Christians do not have to seek for someone who can be judged for that and to put guilt on somebody else. The only right thing for the church will be to raise the voice and unite in fasting and prayer for this dying world. This world is not only dying physically but also spiritually, because many people become hostages of the evil even if they are not under the guns.

At the meeting, we prayed for families who suffered from this tragedy. It was decided to give them material help. Brothers and sisters gave offerings of money and that money was given to the needy in Beslan. To stand aside, when there is grief somewhere, is not a custom for the Christians of Udmurtia.

A lot was said about indifference this pass meeting. One of the famous psychologists told about the mood of people in our country after the events in Beslan. His words sounded cruel but precisely: “They are already shooting but not in me.” Indifference keeps ruling the society and the task of the church is to break that wall, to overcome spiritual laziness, indifference to the destiny of those around us and, finally, to our future life on this Earth but, most important, in the Eternal Life.

Pavel Zhelnovakov, the senior pastor of United churches “Philadelphia”.


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