Daily Topic for March 15, 2014
We have all heard tragic stories about people who have not allowed an insult to rest, and the results have been damaged relationships, damaged lives and even death. Such things are extremely common in Dagestan. What can be done about it when a culture has given way to grudges and revenge for centuries? It will take the kind of spiritual transformation that only the Holy Spirit can provide. Pray for the Holy Spirit to move throughout Ghunzib communities so that they will renounce their old ways and embrace the ways of the cross.
“We’re going to have to do something about this!” the young Ghunzib man exclaimed, gritting his teeth. “We can’t ignore this kind of insult to our honor. We must retaliate or we’re not men!” The aggrieved party made plans to exact vengeance on the perceived culprits in the nearby Bezhtinski village.
The dispute may have been over animals, over a land boundary, over something relating to women and marriage or over a contested political upheaval. The Ghunzib step of “honor vengeance” would likely result in a retaliatory attack of honor from the Bezhta side.
The Ghunzib live in five high mountain villages in extreme southwestern Dagestan. Their distinctive Ghunzib language is not understood by their nearby neighbors, the Bezhtas. They use Russian as a common language. Ghunzib is spoken by at least 2500 people in Dagestan and in neighboring northeastern Georgia. These villages have been 100 percent Muslim for over 600 years. Their village mosques have been restored in the last two decades. The Ghunzib are a noble people with carefully guarded ancient traditions; but they are also renowned for their quarrels with neighboring mountain peoples.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray for believers in the amazing grace of Jesus to become true friends of the Ghunzib people. Pray that men and women of peace among the Ghunzib will understand that “keeping away from strife is an honor for a man” (Proverbs 20:3), and there is even greater honor in forgiveness and second-mile love than in vengeance (Romans 12:17-21).