Crisis in UkraineFound 27 stories for this story collection.
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Easter sermon yielded to Ukraine's presidentKIEV, Ukraine (BP) -- Texas evangelist Michael Gott saw an unexpected opportunity and seized it when he yielded his preaching time on Easter morning to Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov. Read More
Attacks don't hinder Ukrainian ChristiansDONETSK, Ukraine (BP) -- Christians gathering to pray near a political rally site in one of Ukraine's eastern cities have come under numerous attacks -- even gunfire -- from protesters. Read More
FIRST-PERSON: From tragedy to tourismKIEV, Ukraine (BP) -- Just a month after the fiery riots now known as Euromaidan occurred in Kiev's Independence Square, I visited Ukraine's capital. I was there less than a year before this most recent trip, but that was a different time -- a different Kiev. Read More
'Holy desperation' in Ukraine, Gott saysKIEV, Ukraine (BP) -- The Ukrainian crisis has kindled an interdenominational prayer movement in the nation, said a Southern Baptist evangelist who ministers there and has accepted an invitation from Ukrainian Baptists to preach on a national day of mourning in Kiev. Read More
Ukraine still on for Arkansas Master'Singers
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BP) -- A group of 83 Arkansas Master'Singers originally scheduled to minister in eastern Ukraine April 21-May 2 have changed their itinerary to western Ukraine because of political unrest in the country. Travel dates remain the same. Read More
Violence spreads in Ukraine along with fervency in prayer
DONETSK/KHARKIV, Ukraine (BP) -- Tensions -- and prayer -- are now rising across eastern Ukraine as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues to escalate.Violent demonstrations erupted during the April 4-6 weekend, with pro-Russian demonstrators calling for independence from Ukraine or annexation by Russia.
Thousands demonstrated in the eastern cities of Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk, battling anti-riot police and seizing government buildings. In Donetsk, the Ukrainian flag was hurled to the ground from the city's administrative center and replaced by a Russian flag.
At noon on Sunday, April 6, International Mission Board worker Tom Long* received a message from a local news agency reporting that the city of Donetsk would be renamed the People's Republic of Donetsk.
"This is exactly what they did in Crimea," Long said. "One day they overtook the parliament building, and then they called for a referendum." The day after the vote for independence, Crimea was annexed by Russia.
Within an hour after Long received the message, a referendum in Donetsk was slated for May 11.
Pro-Russia activists, in storming the local government headquarters in Donetsk on Saturday, April 5, built a barricade around it. More than a hundred people were holed up inside, declaring a change of government. Ukrainian police were on guard outside but had said they will not use violence against the activists.
Similar scenarios were being played out in the cities of Luhansk and Kharkiv. In Luhansk, demonstrators seized a stockpile of government weapons.
IMB worker Joy Burnett*, who lives just blocks from the city center of Kharkiv, said the Ukrainian flag is still waving and won't be removed without a fight.
"They're not going to give it up the way they did Crimea," Burnett said.
Even among Ukrainian Baptists, who are historically pacifists, the threat of foreign domination is having an effect. Burnett said a Baptist friend recently told her, "I am ready to fight for my country."
Although the future of eastern Ukraine is uncertain, Burnett and Long said God is at work in the midst of the unfolding crisis.
As many as 200 believers have been gathering every morning in Kharkiv's Freedom Square, just feet away from a towering statue of Lenin, to pray for their country, Burnett reported. The nondenominational group includes Baptists, Pentecostals and Orthodox, the state church that is typically unfriendly toward evangelicals.
"It's really amazing," Burnett said. "Young and old, fathers bringing their children, rain or snow -- everybody is on their knees." Read More
Dorothy Patterson sees Ukraine's burdensFORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- Dorothy Patterson, in a visit to Ukraine and Georgia, saw firsthand that women "have a very great burden to bear" in the two Eastern European countries. Read More
Crimean tension stirs call for prayer, BiblesCRIMEA, Ukraine (BP) -- Crimean pastor Kostya Bakonov said he believes the conflict in Ukraine is not only a political battle, but a battle for souls as well, calling for more Bible and more prayer. Read More
Ukraine-Russia tensions expand ministryKIEV, Ukraine (BP) -- Tensions rose to dangerous levels as Russian forces occupied Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in late February, but Ukrainian Baptists aren't slowing down their ministry to a nation battered by months of internal crisis.