Introduction / History
"I am Digor and I am Muslim. I am also Ossetian and I am also Russian." The Digor middle-aged man was reflecting on the many layers of his identity. More than 100,000 Digor people live in southern Russia, mostly in the mountainous northwest section of the province of North Ossetia.
The Digor also have many layers of language. The Digor speak their own Digor Ossetian language. Digor Ossetian is a sister language to the dominant Ossetian language (based on the Iron dialect)--but the two languages are orally incomprehensible to each other; and both groups resort to Russian as a lingua franca. Digor Ossetian is the most ancient Ossetian branch; and the Persian-related Ossetian language descends from the barbarian Scythians, mentioned in Colossians 3:11.
What are Their Beliefs?
A high percentage of Digor Ossetians have been Muslim since the 17th Century; whereas most other Ossetians identify as Russian Orthodox. Have any Muslim Digor people found their way to Jesus’ saving grace? A handful have, in several cities of the Digor region in northwestern Ossetia. But the barriers are great. First, there is deep-seated Muslim resistance to Jesus as Savior. Second, intense Digor traditional ways are rooted in Islam and animism. Third, "Christianity is seen as for others, not for us." But, fouth, there is a deep hunger for grace.
Most helpful will be advances, both in written and audio form, of the message of the gospel in the native Digor language. The Gospel of John is completed, and Matthew is half done. When the message of Jesus is in the heart Digor language, doors begin to open to Digor hearts.
* Pray for the Gospel of John in Digor to be completed in audio form, as planned.
* Pray for further progress on Matthew and other books of the New Testament.
* Pray for new Digor believers to offer the grace of Jesus in Digor style to their friends, so that the promise of Colossians 3:11 can be fulfilled in our generation—"Christ is all, and in all."
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