May 16, 2009

Christians in Support of Crimean Tatar People

May 18th marks the official 65th anniversary of the deportation of the Tatar people from Crimea. Every year there are demonstrations in the center of Simferopol to remember this violent chapter of history. The people were considered Nazi sympathizers by Stalin, at least that was the justification he used. They were suddenly removed from their homes and freighted by off by train to various countries, many dying either on the trains or in the ensuing months following arrival.

As Christians, we want to express our support of all people, including Tatar people. Last Sunday we prayed for peace for the upcoming demonstrations 18 May. We would appreciate it if you would also pray for peace on that day and for these people in general. Yura and Christina, in the photo on the right with son Bogdan, minister to the Tatar people in Crimea. Their team wants to hand out free tea at the event and also to express the support of Christians by presenting some large signs offering that only God can heal the inner wounds and any bitterness that remains.

Also in the photo in the lower center are Tatars Liutfia, Aedik, and their son Adam. They have planted a small church fellowship in Crimea and are praying about moving on to a new location. Please pray God guides them towards their new work and supplies all their needs.

A total of 193,865 Crimean Tatars were deported, beginning May 17, 1944, 151,136 of them to Uzbek SSR, 8,597 to Mari, 4,286 to Kazakh, and the remaining 29,846 to various oblasts of RSFSR.

According to Crimean Tatar activists, nearly 46% of the people died within the first year and a half of the exile. According to other estimates it was 20% or 30,000 people, so I gues that would be the minimal figure. Crimean activists ask that the "Sürgün" or "exile" be defined as genocide.

In the past few years there has been more and more controversy regarding the Tatar squatters who take over land in Crimea. There is an ideological tug of war between three people groups for this unique peninsula. Tatar people, Russians and Ukrainians all see it as their own rightful land. But, in light the eventual world government plans, this seems like a petty squabble and not really worth any bloodletting.

Most Tatars here are nominal Muslims who do things forbidden by strict Muslims like drinking alcohol and eating pork. Muslims tend to have large families and there really is no reason why radical Muslims need to fly passenger planes into buildings to try and conquer the western world. They just need to keep having babies. A rather shocking film clip on the demographic growth of Muslim populations worldwide at this link drives this point home and may be interesting for you.

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