Call to prayer for church in Eastern Ukraine


Eastern Europe


Christians in the east of Ukraine are suffering and are in need of prayer, says the European Evangelical Alliance. Photo EPA, Darek Delmanonwicz

On the occasion of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) (on 7 and 14 November 2021) the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) calls upon Evangelicals to unite in praying for the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine.

According to the EEA, the Donbas region is the area of Europe where the church suffers the most.

In 2014, pro-Russian rebels took over the Donbas region and created the so-called People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Since then, thousands of civilians have died, and nearly two million people have fled. Those who remained suffer the effects of ongoing conflict: extreme poverty and terrible government. Restrictions on freedom of religion or belief make life even more difficult for all who follow a faith other than Orthodox believers linked to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Many church communities are declared illegal and cannot meet. The registration system is unfair; churches have found their applications rejected or liquidated later for supposedly being extremist. No Evangelical church in Luhansk is registered. Church buildings have been seized by force, and Christian literature is banned.

"Blessed are the persecuted"

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) officially launched the first IDOP in 1996, encouraging local churches worldwide to dedicate a Sunday of November to pray for the persecuted Christians, Evangelical Focus reports.

"For over two decades, every November, the global Church has united in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. Today, more than 300 million Christians live in places where they face persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. Staggeringly, this is one in eight Christians, globally", says WEA Secretary General Thomas Schirrmacher.

According to Godfrey Yogarajah, Ambassador for Religious Freedom of the WEA, "The IDOP is a time set apart to remember all those who share our faith, but not our freedom".

The theme of this year is "Blessed are the persecuted", inspired by Matthew 5:10. The first IDOP was on November 7; the second Day will take place on November 14.



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.