Pacifist Christians might be unable to evade Putin's mobilisation


Eastern Europe


Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Photo AFP, Kremlin.ru

On Wednesday, the Russian President announced a partial mobilisation. The call to arms is unrelenting. Conscientious objection is no reason for being relieved from duty. Russian Evangelicals, who are often pacifists, fear persecution.

According to Vladimir Putin, mobilisation is necessary to counter threats from the West in Ukraine that endanger Russia's very existence.

On the same day as the announcement of the partial mobilisation, the Russian authorities started handing out subpoenas which ordered hundreds of thousands of men to join the army and go to the front. That is reported by InLight.news.

Also, Christians received the order to go. Even though a significant share of them adheres to pacifist views, the government does not make an exception for them. In other words, they are not allowed to refuse service. If they do so, they can be criminally persecuted. Refusal to serve can lead to up to ten years of imprisonment.

Russian Christians are worried about the recent developments. Many churches have declared fasting periods. One of them is the Russian Union of Baptists, which calls for fasting and prayer for families, especially those liable for military service. That is reported by IRP.news.

The first deputy chairman of the Baptists, Viktor Ignatenkov, sent out an appeal to churches that belong to the Union. In it, he calls the partial mobilisation disturbing news. However, he stresses that Christians should not panic or be surprised by the recent developments. "We must unite in prayers so that we, as the Church of Christ, keep peace and hope in our hearts. Pray for our families, especially those in the military. Pray for peace among nations." Ignatenkov proposes that churches unite in prayer this Friday.

Jews fear

The mobilisation may also cause problems for Russians Jews who want to leave for Israel. The announcement, therefore, also caused fear in the Jewish community, Ikaj reports. Since the outbreak of the war, the Jewish Agency said to have received 80,000 inquiries from Jews in Russia and Belarus who want to make the so-called aliya to Israel. Thousands of Russian Jews have left the country since the outbreak of the war. Among them is also the former Russian chief rabbi.



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