Ukraine President Preaches the Gospel at Easter!
By Dr. Bob Provost
This Easter Sunday in Ukraine was unlike any other in the history of this nation in crisis. As Ukrainian Christians gathered together at Kiev’s Central Baptist Church to worship and celebrate the resurrection, they heard a special message delivered in person by Alexander Turchynov, the country’s acting president. SGA’s Sergei Omelchenko wrote to tell us about the extraordinary day . . .
Pastor Vyacheslav Nesteruk, president of the Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (UECB), preached the main message of the day. However, President Turchynov also preached for about 10 minutes, reminding us of Christ’s resurrection and how His death was necessary to save His people from their sins. There were three unbelieving security men with him at the church. When the service was over, he walked through the sanctuary toward the exit, all the while shaking hands with people. To see the president of the country being in a crowd of ordinary people—we’ve never seen anything like this before. We’ve never seen the president of the country to even attend a service in a Baptist church!
Considering the history of Ukraine and the nations that once made up the atheistic Soviet Union, this is indeed a truly a remarkable occurrence! Yet it also underscores the need for ongoing, sustained intercessory prayer from God’s people around the world. A few days ago, we reported to you that leaders in other CIS nations—including Russia—are increasing their scrutiny of Baptist churches because of the political turmoil in Ukraine. This is because they are wrongly identifying them as the cause of the unrest and because President Turchynov happens to be Baptist. Thus far, we have heard of no immediate impacts on the churches’ ministries. Yet please continually lift our brothers and sisters in prayer, asking God to protect them and enable them to . . . stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). In the meantime, rejoice as the Gospel is being boldly proclaimed in Ukraine and across the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)!