As the rest of world watches, the nation of Ukraine is under Russian attack. President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine. While analysts have been predicting some form of Russian aggression to be levied upon its neighbor, the wide-scale attack on Ukraine came earlier and was larger than expected, according a CNBC.com article.
Jayson Casper, a reporter for Christianity Today, had this to report:
As Russia invaded Ukraine today, pressing near even to the capital of Kyiv, a Baptist home was destroyed and a seminary shaken by nearby blasts. Local sources told CT, however, that no churches or Christian buildings had been attacked so far.
President Vladimir Putin announced his forces were targeting only military installations. He also asserted that Ukraine does not truly exist as a nation.
Igor Bandura, vice president of the Baptist Union, the largest Protestant body in Ukraine, heard about collateral damage to the home of a Baptist in Donetsk during a Zoom call with his 25 regional superintendents.
Minus one. On the front lines of the eastern Donbas region, the Baptist leader from the occupied territory of Luhansk was unable to join.
The Russo-Ukrainian War has been an ongoing conflict since February 2014. The alleged central cause of the conflict is between Russia and pro-Russia forces against Ukraine over Crimea, which was annexed after being invaded by Russia in 2014, and parts of the Donbas, the southeastern area of Ukraine. Since then, there have been conflicts and growing hostility in the region between the Russian separatists and Ukraine’s troops. It’s been reported that as many as 14,000 people have died since the fighting began.
But from the town of Chasov Yor on the front lines in neighboring Donetsk—in an area then still under Ukrainian government control—Bandura learned the local assessment.
“People don’t want to be under Russian control,” he was told. “But they feel helpless. What can ordinary people do?”
Pray. And remain calm.
This was the message put out by the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO), a day after its appeal to Putin went unanswered.
Ukraine’s chief rabbi invited Christian leaders to recite Psalm 31 together.
“We urge you to remain calm, not to give in to panic, and to comply with the orders of the Ukrainian state and military authorities,” stated the UCCRO. “The truth and the international community are on the Ukrainian side. We believe that good will prevail, with God’s help.”
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