Ukraine (MNN) — More sabre rattling is heard in Ukraine as the Russian government has threatened Ukraine’s navy to lay down their weapons and abandoned their posts. Those threats followed Russia’s invasion of the Crimean Peninsula with more than 15,000 troops. 150,000 stand ready along the Ukrainian/Russian boarder. So far, no shots have been fired.
Now Christians are fighting another battle as propaganda hits the church in Russia/Ukraine.
This recent report is breaking the heart of the President of Russian Ministries, Sergey Rakhuba. “I was born and raised in Ukraine. I lived in Moscow, Russia for many years. And I equally love those people. But I know how much they are brainwashed today by the pro-Kremlin media machine. I’m very much concerned and pray for Ukrainians today. So, I’m seeking for the answer to why God is allowing this.”
The crisis in Ukraine has forced Russian Ministries to take drastic actions in Crimea. “We have to suspend some of our activities there because of all this turmoil.”
Despite this, Russian Ministries continues to work. Rakhuba says they’re actively sharing the message of peace that can be found in Scripture.
In December, MNN readers and listeners helped Russian Ministries distribute 100,000 copies of Scripture. Now, they need 200,000 more copies. Rakhuba says people are eagerly accepting God’s Word. “Everybody wants to take it. Everybody wants to talk. Even the former minister of defense, Mr. Anatoliy Gryschenko, pressed it to his chest and said, ‘Thank you. This is the most powerful weapon today that we can have in our hands.'”
While prayer is vital, Rakhuba says, “I would really appreciate your listeners to continue praying: not just praying, but to [take action].” Supporting their Scripture distribution is important, as is supporting the ministry’s emergency response fund. Click here to help.
Funding helps Ukrainians who have been displaced. It’s beginning to happen in Crimea. “I see Ukrainians are getting ready to leave Crimea to move back to Ukraine. Crimean Tatars are getting more mobilized and are saying, ‘We cannot accept this.'”
In the meantime, some Russian Christian leaders are speaking out about the Ukraine/Russia crisis.
From Russian Pastor Yuri Sipko, former President of the Union of Evangelical Christians and Baptists of Russia, wrote this about the situation in Ukraine:
“Russian churches, as institutions standing guard over spiritual life, must declare their disagreement with lies. Russian churches must stop armed conflict. Russia must not become an aggressor. Too much blood has been spilled by our people, in order to spill the blood of our brother nation of Ukraine. God’s Word proclaims, ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’ (Romans 12:21).
Pastor Sipko was then asked about Ukraine:
“Now I will say that I am ashamed. I want to express complete non-acceptance of the unbridled slanderous campaign unfurled by official mass media in Russia discrediting Ukraine.
“They lie when they say that nationalistic fascist groups have seized power in Kiev. The legally elected Parliament made a decision to return to the Constitution of 2004 and makes its decisions perfectly legally in accordance with the Constitution.
“They lie when they say that some young people from Western Ukraine are threatening the Russian-speaking population of the Crimea and the Eastern regions of Ukraine. There is not a single fact of threats, let alone facts of violent acts.
“Invading with a false excuse and on the basis of fictitious requests from unknown entities is a violent departure from international legal norms. Distributing Russian passports to citizens of Ukraine is an insult to government laws, against moral norms, and a thuggish move. By doing so, the Russian authorities are humiliating millions of Russians who have not yet received Russian citizenship, who have been waiting for it for years, living in Russia and working for the country’s good.
“Seizure of government institutions in the Crimea by armed men is a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.
“Russia can never recover from the disgrace of such impudent deceit and aggression against its brother nation, Ukraine. There are no excuses for violence. There are no reasons for repressing the people of Ukraine through Russian armed forces. There is no justification for an armed invasion of Ukraine. Stop. We have not yet healed from the war in Chechnya. We have not yet treated the wounds from Ossetia and Abkhazia.”