Evangelist Franklin Graham this week wrote to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, requesting a cease-fire from the war during Holy Week of the Western and Eastern churches, Religion News Service reported.
Holy Week for the Western churches begins April 10, and for the Eastern churches, April 17.
"If they can stop fighting for a week or 10 days, maybe they can stop fighting for two weeks," Graham told RNS by phone. "If they stop for two weeks, maybe they can stop for a month. If they stop for a month, maybe they can stop for good. You've got to start somewhere."
Graham, the president of Samaritan's Purse, said he isn't confident he will hear back from Putin but believes the attempt is necessary.
Graham recently returned from a visit to Ukraine, where Samaritan's Purse has set up two field hospitals and three medical clinics, he said. One of the field hospitals is situated just outside Lviv in western Ukraine. The ministry is operating a 24-hour clinic at a Lviv train station.
Samaritan's Purse is resupplying its hospitals and clinics weekly on a DC-8 cargo plane.
"We're consuming quite a bit of supplies," Graham told Moody Radio this week. "... The most important thing we can do is pray. Pray for the churches and pray for the people there and just pray that God would somehow intervene and bring this to an end."
Churches, he said, have turned into distribution centers where refugees can find food, clothes and blankets.
"That's what the church should be, and that's what they're doing," he said.
Samaritan's Purse, he said, has committed $16 million to the region's churches.
"That's just direct cash that we put in their bank account," he said, "so that not only do we send them supplies, but they also have money, where they can actually get that money to a family that's in desperate need."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Drew Angerer/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.