Ukraine (MNN) — “Crimea was, is, and will be an integral part of Ukraine.”
Those were the words of interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk calling the newly-appointed Crimean parliament’s vote to leave Ukraine and become part of Russia “an illegitimate decision.” A referendum on the matter will be held March 16.
President of Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba says he isn’t focusing on that part of the crisis anymore. “The world cannot do much at this point anymore, except raising the rhetoric, escalating the tensions and the international dialogue. I don’t think Russia will back out of Crimea.”
Free and fair elections aren’t expected. U.S. President Barak Obama says any decision about Crimea should include the legitimate Ukrainian government, which is being ignored by Russia. Many world leaders are saying the international community will ignore the vote. “But isn’t that what happened in the last few years in Abkhazia and Georgia in South Ossetia? I think this is the same scenario that’s happening in Crimea,” says Rakhuba.
While extremely disappointed, Rakhuba instead wants to focus on the future of ministry in Ukraine in the wake of the crisis. “How do we and what should we do, and how do we help the national church to go through their reconciliation process? It definitely will affect work in Crimea.”
Rakhuba says, “We’re developing curriculum on reconciliation. We want to train pastors who will train others to bring reconciliation and healing during this post-turmoil time.”
Reconciliation isn’t the only focus. He believes it’s a good time for this kind of outreach. “The situation is so ripe for outreach, and people are so hungry for God. So I don’t want the church to lose momentum in this regard. That’s why we’re putting in so much effort in providing resources for them.”
Rakhuba says craving for the Gospel is unprecedented. He says that’s why they have printed several versions of Scripture, including the latest version that targets business people. “We designed and printed this Gospel for young professionals. We really think we are empowering them. And we want [MNN] listeners to continue praying for young Christian leaders in Ukraine.”
Because the demand for Scripture is so great in Ukraine and Russia today, Russian Ministries is asking you to help support their efforts. Click here to help.