Christian Ministry affected by the taking of 400 Hostages in Russia

More than a dozen militants wearing suicide-bomb belts seized a southern Russian school in a region bordering Chechnya on Wednesday, taking hostage about 400 people -- half of them children -- and threatening to blow up the building if police attempted to storm it. At least eight people have been killed; one of them was a school parent.

The attack was the latest blamed on secessionist Chechen rebels, coming a day after a suicide bomber killed 10 people in the capital and a week after near-simultaneous explosions blamed on terrorists caused two Russian planes to crash, killing all 90 people on board.

Russian Ministries' Sergey Rakhuba reported that two of their leaders who are brothers by blood were affected. One of them is the coordinator for the region and the other one is the pastor of the church, all their eight children are there.

Christians are being asked to pray for the hostages. Rakhuba requests, "Pray for all Christian families that are involved, that through a special way that they'll be able to show God's love and hope in Christ there."

In response of the violence, Mark Irwin, sub-regional Director of HCJB World Radio, says they are looking to develop the local Christian broadcasting infrastructure. These include training people, developing studios so that people will have the equipment to make their own programs. Their final goal is to establish around 15 Christian radio stations.

Irwin believes Russians are open to hearing the Gospel. "This is an opportunity for us in Christian radio to deal with life's real issues. I mean, when things come down to things such as terrorism, I think people look for answers to life's real questions, but we're trusting in the Lord and even more reason why we need to develop Christian radio in this country so that people will know the hope that's only to be found in Jesus."

HCJB World Radio now has ministries in more than 90 countries and broadcasts the gospel in more than 100 languages and dialects.