Ukraine, Russia, & the Church

Over the two weeks or so, we have all watched with horror as the events in Ukraine have unfolded. One nation has invaded another, and they are both visiting death and destruction upon one another. This is a tragedy of the highest order. We have seen the world respond with some of the harshest economic sanctions in modern history, which is beginning to cause economic devastation for the citizens of Russia. And as we watch all of this unfold, we are left with the question of how we should be and can be responding as Christians. How can we be intervening in this horrific situation?

I’d like to suggest that there are two ways we can respond. The first is prayer and the second is direct, practical help. As Christians, we all yearn for peace. Christ advocated peace in his time on earth. The Apostle Paul lists peace as one of the fruits of the spirit in Galatians. Peace is what we desire. However, we live in a fallen world that is full of broken people. War has been an inevitable occurrence on earth ever since Adam and Eve sinned. The war we have seen unfold in Ukraine is the most recent example. But war is certainly not new. So how should we respond to war if our spiritual position and desire is for peace? Prayer. Here are some ways to be praying:

  • For citizens and non-combatants who are in harm’s way.
  • For the Ukrainian people’s safety as they defend their nation and as refugees flee the conflict.
  • For the Ukrainian government that they will have wisdom and discernment in the hard choices they will need to make.
  • For the Russian people as well as many of them have begun to protest what their leadership has chosen to do.
  • For the Russian government to see that war is the last and worst option and that they will have the wisdom to engage in ceasefire and peace talks in good faith.
  • For the Ukrainian church as they seek to be a light and a hope to their fellow Ukrainians in the midst of a horrifically dark time.
  • For the world leaders who are making decisions about their nations response to this conflict to have wisdom, clarity, and discernment.
  • For President Biden and our Congressional leaders to proceed with wisdom, clarity, and discernment in the US’s response.
We must be spending time praying and interceding for those who are embroiled in this war and for those who are leading the global response to it. Join with us as we pray.

The second response is offering practical help. This means offering practical assistance to those who are in the war zone or those who are serving those in the war zone. There are a host of international aid organizations who are involved. There are a host of mission’s organizations who are involved as well. We would always encourage you to support the organization of your choice that best reflects your faith beliefs and values and is a good steward of what they receive. If you are unsure of who to support, the Evangelical Free Church of America (our denomination) has a refugee fund. You can learn more about it and donate, if you would like, by visiting the Ukrainian Refugee Response website.

The war in Ukraine is a tragedy. It will result in immense loss of life, loss of property, and ongoing trauma for millions of people. We must be praying for those involved, their leaders, and for our leaders as well to respond wisely. Join with us as we come before the Lord.

Josh Cervone