Two prayer requests from Donetsk: “First, to stop the aggressor. But then for peace of mind, to respond with Christian character and not from human hate.”
As Russia invaded Ukraine today, a Baptist home was destroyed and a seminary shaken by nearby blasts, though local sources told CT that no churches or Christian buildings have 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.
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.”
Thousands of Ukrainians fled west as Russian missiles hit targets throughout the nation. Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs reported nearly 400 instances of …