The European Evangelical Alliance calls on Europe’s Christians to pray and stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine who are living through dangerous times.
We are alarmed that the Ukrainian government has responded to persistant but peaceful demonstrations about Ukraine’s future by imposing draconian laws to repress opposition. It is unacceptable to suspend the right of citizens to peacefully protest or criticise their government. And sadly, it is not surprising that this political decision has led to a dramatic escalation in the confrontation on the streets. People are being injured, the first deaths have been recorded.
Ukrainian Christians met last week to discuss their reaction to the crisis and issued the below statement. Meanwhile, respected Ukrainian Evangelical leader Dr Gregor Komendant has stated “The situation in Ukraine is extremely tense. Peace is extremely fragile and the church can and should play a reconciling role on behalf of all Christians of Ukraine. I am calling on the global Christian community for prayer and support at this critical time for our nation."
EEA also asks Christians to pray so that the Ukrainian authorities act wisely to diffuse the tension and Christians can act as reconcilers and bearers of hope.
The European Evangelical Alliance is WEA's regional body. More information at www.europeanea.org.
Resolution of the roundtable “Maydan and Church: Mission and Social Responsibility of Christians” held in Kyiv on January 17, 2014 Appeal to the Evangelical Churches of Ukraine
January 20th, 2014
At this crucial moment for Ukraine we, the participants of the round table “Maydan and Church: Mission and Social Responsibility of Christians” held in Kyiv on 17 January 2014, appeal to the leaders of Evangelical churches, fellowships, denominations, ministries, and organizations, as well as to church members – to take all possible measures to stand for truth, peace and justice in Ukraine.
Regardless of political preferences, we call our brothers and sisters all over the country to take a more active role in the life of Ukrainian society and demonstrate a high level of personal responsibility. First of all, we all should strengthen our prayer: “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Tim. 2:1-4, 8). As “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17, 20, 26), we have to provide practical help to the victims of violence, following the example of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) and our Lord Jesus Christ, in the context of the recent repressions against the Maydan activists, threats to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, adoption of anti-constitutional laws on January 16, terror and use of force against the protestors on January 19, 2014 continuing till now.
The Church wisely avoided political speculations on the association agreement with the European Union. However, after the bloodshed at Maydan on 30 November 2013 there is no way the Church could keep silence. Realizing moral responsibility before God and society, Christians have to condemn the violence against civilians, call it a crime publicly, expose the perpetrators and help the victims.
The Maydan Independence Square in Kyiv, as well as little “maydans” all across the country, are the place for a legitimate right of the people to demand from the government a respect for their freedom, dignity and rights, as well as to require the officials to fulfill their obligations for the common good, and not abuse the power given by the Ukrainian people. Church has to express its authoritative word along with the voice of the people, declaring that they are created by God in His image and likeness, that all people are equal before God, that God’s judgment is real, as well as God’s care for the helpless.
We draw the attention of the government and protesters to God’s commandments, love and forgiveness, without which the demand for equity may end up with chaos and violence. Therefore we encourage everyone to do their best for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Each person will give a personal account for his or her actions both on earth and in heaven.
We declare that the government’s attempts to isolate the Ukrainian Evangelical believers from the European and international community of Christians are unacceptable.
We confirm that the main task of the Church at this time is to be “salt” and “light” to our society. This means that the Church has to expose sin in all its forms and manifestations directly without any compromise, call the officials and civil society to repentance, show people the true way of salvation in Jesus Christ, help the victims in every way, and give hope.
We believe that by the mercy of God, prayers and the labor of Christians, the events taking place on Maydan will bring forth a spiritual awakening and renewal of the Ukrainian nation.
Pastors and Christian leaders of Ukraine participated in the roundtable “Maydan and Church: Mission and Social Responsibility of Christians” held in Kyiv on January 17, 2014