Ukrainian Christians are preparing for war


Eastern Europe


War brings refugees. Many churches are preparing for them. Photo AFP, Andrey Borodulin

Ukrainian Protestants are preparing for war since Russia recognised the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.

According to the Evangelical Union of Baptists in Ukraine, Baptist congregations in western Ukraine evaluate whether their congregation’s basements are suitable for housing people. “We very much hope that our prayer house will not be needed to house people. But we are preparing so that people can come here if necessary and find shelter and shelter,” said Volodymyr Nesteruk, pastor of the Baptist church in the north-western Ukrainian city of Rivne (near the Polish border) to the Christian press agency IDEA.

Other communities are preparing to settle refugees on other premises suitable for housing. As pastors from the areas of the “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk reported, all able-bodied men between 18 and 55 were asked to report for military service. Other residents would be evacuated to Russia on a large scale. According to locals, more than 100,000 people have already left Luhansk.


According to Tobias Schwartz, general manager of the Catholic Eastern European aid organisation Renovabis, Germany must prepare for a wave of refugees. Volker Jung, president of the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau, also warns for refugees. According to him, the current developments are “terrifying”. Jung appeals to political leaders to do everything possible to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Meanwhile, the EKD Council president, Annette Kurschus, called for ecumenical prayers for peace in church districts and communities on the website of the Protestant Church of Westphalia.



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