‘Praying for peace and protection from war’
Baptists in both Ukraine and Russia are fervently praying into the increasingly tense situation on their borders – and Baptists around the world have been encouraged to do likewise.
At least 100,000 Russian troops are currently stationed on Ukraine’s eastern border.
The European Baptist Federation (EBF) and Baptist World Alliance (BWA) have had contact with both the All-Ukrainian Union of Associations of Evangelical Christians-Baptists and the Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of Russia in the past week to understand how the situation impacts its members in both countries.
In an EBF news release, Igor Bandura, Vice-President of the Baptist Union of Ukraine, invited the EBF to join their prayers.
‘As I write these words, all our churches are in the middle of the week of special prayer time for our nation and our life,’ he said.
‘In every church all around the country, every night, people come together either at private homes or churches and urgently pray for God’s protection and intervention. We believe this is the most important task of Christians in times such as this. We are praying for peace, for our political leaders and their unity.’
‘We are urgently praying and intentionally working to be ready for whatever happens. We realise that we can’t do much but we want to be faithful in what God entrusted us with.’
Similarly, Peter Mitskevich, President of the Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of Russia spoke of the need for prayers of peace and protection from war, recognising the great suffering of many in the borderlands including the community of believers.
Alan Donaldson, General Secretary of the EBF, invites the EBF member bodies and the global Baptist family to pray for peace in the region and to remember those who are suffering, feel hopeless, have high levels of anxiety and are traumatised by current and potential future conflict.
He said, ‘The EBF is prayerfully following the situation in the region and is praying for a peaceful resolution.
‘As followers of Christ, we have a common goal to love one another and seek his Kingdom’s values on earth. So we continue to pray in unity for peace on earth and in particular upon the Ukraine-Russia borderlands.’
Elijah Brown, General Secretary of the BWA also said, ‘As the Baptist World Alliance stands with EBF and with brothers and sisters across the region, we affirm our commitment to live as one Baptist family rooted in Jesus Christ as Lord, even as we urge all political and social actors to work for immediate de-escalation and call upon every Baptist to fervently pray for the establishment of just peace.
‘Together we echo the words of Jesus, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers.’”