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Ukraine Violence: Churches Call for Prayer

Maydan-2014

We have been deeply troubled by the reports of growing violence in Ukraine. In the capital of Kiev, two people were reported killed yesterday in battles between protesters and state security forces. These were the first fatalities in two months of demonstrations. The photo to the left shows the huge size of the crowd that amassed in Kiev over the weekend.

These protests began when Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich froze key integration agreements with the European Union. Eventually, the protests went beyond the EU issue and became anti-government in general. Subsequent crackdowns by the government have sparked renewed demonstrations with larger numbers and more violence. On Sunday, about 100,000 people marched, and the violence prompted the government to authorize the use of lethal force.

SGA president Dr. Bob Provost said, “I am asking our partners to support the Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (UECB) in calling for urgent intercessory prayer, appealing for calm and reconciliation in the country.” SGA also received the following statement from Ukrainian UEBC president Vyacheslav Nesteruk . . .

At this distressing time for Ukraine, I appeal to the president of the country, to the protesters, to the opposition, and to all Christians in Ukraine. Since these events have reached a critical point and society is just a step away from civil war, we believe that we need to immediately use all peaceful means to resolve the situation. We call on all sides of the conflict to move from words to specific actions for reconciliation. Although people have lost faith in the ability of government to reach a peaceful outcome, we see immediate dialogue as the solution. God’s guidance is needed! ‘Seek the welfare of the city . . . and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare, you will have welfare (Jeremiah 29:7). We call on Christians everywhere to increase your prayers that sin and lawlessness will not be allowed to lead to civil war. May the Lord protect Ukraine!”

Dr. Igor Yaremchuk, president of the SGA-sponsored Irpen Biblical Seminary near Kiev, wrote to say that he is deeply concerned, and says that the situation is getting worse . . . in his words, “Only God can stop it!” Please pray for peace and for the protection of our brothers and sisters, asking God to use them to model His love, and to advance the Gospel in Ukraine. Please watch SGA’s website, http://www.sga.org, for further developments.

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