Matthias Schöni, director of the Swiss Licht Im Osten, says a new truck with help is already on its way to Ternopil. After the attack, “we have received many food and financial donations”, he says.
Especially in the Ukraine war with all its religious sub-themes, the churches should talk to each other and deal with the religious roots of this war.
Vladimir Putin justifies his war against Ukraine by claiming to protect Russia, at its historic borders. The question however is – what does he mean by 'historic'?
According to data presented by the Kyiv-based Institute for Religious Freedom, almost 500 religious sites have been damaged in the first year of the war.
The reality of living with war means that with no electricity, heating or water in their apartments and constant explosions nearby, many families are taking shelter in a basement in the city of Toretsk.
In Europe, we have become used to the arrival of asylum seekers and refugees, most notably when some 2 million people fleeing the conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan. Yet the Ukraine migration crisis has been different.
The church had been searched by military personnel of the Russian-backed authorities. Relatives and church members have not received answers.
European leaders denounce “a parody of democracy”, NATO speaks of “dangerous escalation”, and the United Nations General Assembly seeks dialogue-based solutions.
Both Ukrainian and Russian mothers have turned to magic and the occult and bought amulets, protection letters, special icons, to stave off evil forces and protect their sons fighting in the war.
Over 500 representatives of evangelical churches and organisations in Europe attend the European Leadership Forum conference in Poland. A pastor from Kyiv shared details about the response of Christians during the invasion.
Thousands have already been hosted by families in countries like Switzerland, Germany, Spain and the UK. Websites connect refugees and potential hosts.
The pastor of a church on the Romanian border with Ukraine explains how, along with a church in Spain, they help refugees to meet their basic needs.
After more than five hours of driving, we reach our destination in Rivne: a warehouse that has been rented by a network of Protestant churches. Three dozen young people are waiting for us to unload the aid.
Ukrainian evangelicals between political and missional responsibilities.
“Almost every church in Moldova is doing something, there is pain not fear”, says a Christian worker in Moldova. A Finnish journalist: “We have 1,300 km of common border, battles with Russia are deep in our nation’s memory”.
Andrey Tyschchenko is the pastor of an evangelical church in Kharkiv, one of the cities hardest hit by the Russian attack. He is now a refugee in Poland with his family. From there, he organises help to be sent into Ukraine.
In Russia, evangelical Christians are asking Vladimir Putin to seek a negotiation to “find a peaceful solution”.
(UPDATED) Evangelical platforms in Europe offer channels to support ministries in Ukraine and the bordering countries receiving refugees.
Putin’s messianic pretensions as saviour of Russian civilisation have deep religious and historical roots. Yet our western secular world tends to filter out religion and pre-Enlightenment history as irrelevant.
Hundreds of thousands protest in major European cities against Russia’s invasion. All EU countries agree receiving asylum seekers for at least three years.
Evangelicals in Kyiv call to trust in God and defend the country. Churches are offering shelter to refugees. Christian leaders in Moscow express their oposition to war. “Fear paralyses, prayer, trust in God, caring for your neighbor - gives strength”.
European Evangelical Alliance prays for “those who have the power to save lives”. Russian Evangelical Alliance asks Putin to choose “peacemaking initiatives”. Christian radio in Odessa expects to be shut down.
Putin sends troops into the Ukrainian territory after the Russian parliament recognises the ‘oblasts’ of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent territories. Europe responds with financial sanctions. Evangelicals pray for wisdom for the next days.
Trans World Radio has a national partner in Ukraine and a ministry affiliation in Russia. Extra attention is now paid to themes such as forgiveness, dealing with trials and helping others in need.
The team of New Life Christian radio remains on standby to quickly re-locate if Russia invades.