Christian ministries in Ukraine are urging believers throughout the country not to fear, saying their mission remains unchanged even as Russia’s military continues its attack on their land.
“Remember how many times God in His Word says 'don't be afraid,'" Kyiv Theological Seminary, located in the Ukrainian capital, wrote on its Facebook page.
Ukraine is one the most Christian nations in Europe, with 78 percent of the population identifying with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 10 percent with the Roman Catholic Church and 2 percent calling themselves evangelical.
Russia invaded Ukraine – a sovereign nation on its border – Thursday morning. Both countries formerly were part of the Soviet Union, which dissolved in 1991. Ukraine subsequently claimed its independence.
Christians in the country are condemning the Russian attack while saying they remain resolute in opposing the invasion and in being a light for Christ.
In Kyiv, where citizens flee to the subways during bomb raids, Kyiv Theological Seminary is encouraging its students and staff to help their neighbors "pack" and "prepare the groceries they need."
"Collect the necessary things to go to the shelter at the right time," said the Facebook post from Kyiv Theological Seminary. "... Let not fear control us. … Let us trust in the Lord, do not panic."
The seminary’s post included the text of Isaiah 41:10: "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
New Life Christian Radio, located in the southern coastal city of Odessa, said a skeleton crew remains at its broadcasting station despite Russian soldiers in the area. The crew will remain there “until they are stopped by these forces,” the radio station’s website said.
The radio station, which broadcasts Christian radio across Ukraine and into Russia, is available on the FM frequency, as well as on satellite and the internet.
"New Life Radio will broadcast the message of Christ and His Gospel, knowing that both the people of Russia and Ukraine need to know about our Savior, who is in total control of the affairs of the world," the radio station said.
Open Doors reported that Ukraine’s Christians "have not forgotten the persecution they suffered" under the Soviet Union and "are determined to keep sharing the gospel."
Kyiv Theological Seminary listed three prayer requests: 1) "for Ukraine," 2) "for the Armed Forces of Ukraine," 3) and that the "enemy" will "stop his crimes" and "be defeated" so that "the church in Ukraine … can serve the society."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Khanchit Khirisutchalual
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.