Ukraine (MNN) — In Ukraine, tensions remain high as Sunday’s Crimea referendum draws near. Ukrainian forces being held hostage by Russian troops recently told Reuters that one executive order could end their lives.
“All it takes is one order and they will open fire,” a Ukrainian officer said. “We won’t be able to hold out long.”
The decision to join forces with Russia or Ukraine is being put to a vote in autonomous Crimea on Sunday. But according to Reuters, there’s not much of a choice. They report that Crimea’s regional assembly recently passed a resolution to “sever links to Kiev and join Russia anyway.”
Come what may, Russian Ministries is continuing to stand by churches in the region, said the ministry’s board of directors in an official release.
“We pray that the Church in both Russia and Ukraine, which have survived the persecution of the Stalin era, will stand firm for the Gospel and will serve as salt and light during this time of great turmoil and unrest,” said President Sergey Rakhuba in a written statement.
Russian Ministries’ national affiliate, The Association for Spiritual Renewal, has its ministry headquarters in Ukraine and oversees ministry outreach in 12 countries of the former Soviet Union, including Russia and Ukraine.
“As followers of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we denounce aggression and violence, knowing that ‘the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God’ (James 1:20, ESV),” reads one portion of the official statement.
“Through our active ministry involvement in both Russia and Ukraine, our organization is devoted to helping the church be salt and light during this conflict in order to bring healing and hope to the nations. We call upon all leaders, both religious and secular, to embrace peaceful means of deciding questions of political alignment and national determination. We ask our brothers and sisters to always assume the best motives of others as events unfold in the days ahead. We also caution Christian leaders not to let their political views, whatever they are, overshadow their Christian convictions.
“In times of uncertainty, the hearts of men and women are looking for stability. True followers of Jesus Christ know that they can depend on the “solid rock” of their faith. Especially in these tense times, we renew our commitment to helping others find comfort, healing, and faith in Him, in both Russia and Ukraine.
“We call on the global Christian community to support us, prayerfully and financially, in our effort to bring reconciliation and restore peace to this land in great turmoil.”