Tuesday, October 10, 2017

More than Mercenaries: Russians Martyred by Muslims for refusing to deny Christ and embrace Islam

The Quran's commands in action: Islam's fourteen centuries of using the sword to try to force Christians to commit apostasy and deny Jesus Christ continues with the execution of two Russian soldiers.
The Quran explicitly commands Muslims to fight against and terrorize the unbelievers till they embrace Islam or “feel themselves subdued” as is seen in these verses:

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [i.e. Islam] among the people of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Sura 9:29) 
So, when you meet those who disbelieve, smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly on them... Thus you are ordered by Allah to continue in carrying out jihad against the disbelievers till they embrace Islam. (Sura 47:4)

This of course brings to mind the powerful witness of New Martyr Evgeny Rodionov of Chechnya, who, after being captured by Muslims, refused to remove his baptismal cross and deny Christ. He was faithful to the end, and is now widely venerated as a martyr and saint by Orthodox Christians all around the globe. I saw icons of him at a recent visit to a ROCOR parish in Atlanta.

As of now, we know very little about Roman Zabolotny and Grigory Surkanov, except that they refused to deny Jesus Christ, and chose to die as Orthodox Christians. In many lives of the Holy Neo-Martyrs under the Turkish Muslim yoke, we saw sometimes deeply flawed people who came to life in Christ when confronted with the choice of death or denying Him to live as a Muslim. Many were offered riches, comfort and women in addition to being threatened with death, and still confessed Jesus Christ. The reality of one's immanent death helps sharply reveal some depths of the mystery of the soul. 

May Roman's and Grigory's sins be consigned to oblivion, may their memory be eternal, and may they receive the crown of martyrdom for witnessing to their faith with their very lives. May we be inspired by these ordinary, yet valiant and extraordinary believers, who were faithful unto death. 

Still from ISIS video, showing Roman Vasilievich Zabolotny and Grigory Mikhailovich Surkanov

Russian mercenaries captured by ISIS ‘are executed after refusing to reject Christianity and become Muslim' 

by Will Stewart, MailOnline, October 6, 2017 
(thanks to Jihad Watch and Blazing Cat Fur):

Two Russian mercenaries reportedly captured by ISIS jihadists are feared to have been executed because they refused to read out a statement saying they rejected their Christian faith and had become Muslim.

Roman Zabolotny, 39, and Grigory Tsurkanu, 38, held in Syria, also refused to say on camera that they had joined the terrorist group.

The men are believed to have been fighting for a private Russian mercenary force comprising ex-servicemen which saw action in Crimea and eastern Ukraine before Syria.

They were held by jihadists around the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, the last ISIS stronghold in the country.

They appeared in a video released earlier this week by ISIS news agency Amak which claimed inaccurately that the men were serving Russian soldiers.

Senior Russian MP Viktor Vodolatsky said: ‘It is very sad but 99 per cent Roman Zabolotny is not alive, nor is the second prisoner.

‘Before filming that video they were given a statement which they had to read.

‘In this text they would reject their Orthodox religion, reject their motherland, become Muslim and join ISIS.

‘They stayed loyal to the Orthodox faith and their Motherland until the very end, and this is what they were killed by those gangsters for.’

There has been no official confirmation from the Russian authorities about their fate, but Vladimir Putin’s government is coy speaking about such mercenary forces in Syria and other hot spots, even though experts say they work closely with the armed forces.

A local MP in Rostov-on-Don, Zabolotny’s home city, also confirmed the pair had been ‘executed’, saying it happened the day after the video was made.

‘Unfortunately, this is true,’ said Anatoly Kotlyarov. ‘Information was received that they were executed in a town square.’…