Ukraine (MNN) — During the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has used forced conscription in the Donbas region to fill the ranks of its fighting force.
Not only that, but these men are receiving little if any training, used as cannon fodder on the battlefield. Many have reported a lack of food and water, armed with a rifle design first develop in the late 1800s.
Christians in the Donbas
The Voice of the Martyrs Korea has contact with churches in the Donbas region, says Eric Foley. “We hear reports from pastors about the mandatory conscription of all men within a certain age range. At first, all men from 18 to 55 were ordered to join. Two weeks later, they started taking men up to 65.”
This opens up difficult questions for Christians, Foley says. “Must I serve in the military in this situation? These Christians are not deciding whether or not to be faithful, but really praying about how to be faithful.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Christians have had to grapple with forced military service or similar situations. Foley says, “For 20 centuries, Christians have been grappling with these difficult questions. Let’s pray that God will grant wisdom now. Especially because Russian Christians are, by definition, pretty isolated to begin with.”
“…It’s hard for them say to each other, ‘What does it mean to be faithful? What are you guys doing?’”
Foley says the Holy Spirit has always guided God’s people. Pray the Spirit will guide these small churches in the Donbas region. And pray for peace.
The header photo shows Russian soldiers. (Photo courtesy of Mil.ru, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)