Introduction / History
In the book of Acts, Paul said that before his conversion, "he was a Pharisee of the Pharisees!" If Paul had grown up in Dagestan, he probably would have been from the town of Gubden. Gubden—in south central Dagestan—has the reputation of being one of the fiercest fundamentalist Muslim epicenters of Dagestan.
The Murego/Gubden oral language—related to the Dargin family of languages—is spoken in 15 towns and villages up in the mountains west of the coastal city of Izberbash. In these villages people raise sheep and chickens along with some cattle, and fruit-bearing orchards are visible on many hillsides.
What are Their Beliefs?
Islam in the Gubden region is influenced by a zealous Salafi strain of Islam emanating out of Saudi Arabia. Women dress more conservatively than even in the other Muslim regions of Dagestan. The devout pride themselves on their adherence to Muslim law and rituals. Like Paul writes in Philippians, "...as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal...after the Law, above reproach." But then he found "the power of the resurrection...the righteousness not based on human strength, but through faith in Christ." And "...what I previously highly valued, I now consider as rubbish, in contrast to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord!"
* Pray for new 'apostle Pauls’ among the religiously zealous Gubden people.
* Pray for the eyes of the Lord to see open, struggling hearts among this people group and meet them on new Damascus roads in the mountains of central Dagestan. (II Chron.16:9, Acts 9:3)
* Pray that by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit, the Fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience...—will begin to flower on these hillsides just like the fruit orchards one can see now.
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