A Russian evangelical leader recently issued a statement apologizing to Ukrainian Christians over the recent Russian invasion.
Vitaly Vlasenko, General Secretary of the Russian Evangelical Alliance, expressed his grievances about the war in an open letter published on Saturday.
“As the General Secretary of the Russian Evangelical Alliance, I mourn what my country has done in its recent military invasion of another sovereign country, Ukraine,” Vlasenko lamented.
“For me, as for many other Christians, the military invasion was a shock. In the worst-case scenario, I could not imagine what is now being observed in Ukraine,” he continued. “Two peoples closely related to each other, many of whom are deeply devoted to the Christian (primarily Orthodox) faith, are now in a fierce battle – one side pursuing the goal of demilitarizing Ukraine, the other seeking to save their country from occupation.”
Vlasenko also noted that many Russians and Ukrainians are suffering because they have family members living in the opposite country.
“A Russian may have daughters and grandchildren living in Kyiv; a Ukrainian may have children living and working in Moscow,” the evangelical leader explained. “Today, pain, fear, and deep sorrow for their loved ones and for the future of their own lives and countries pierce the hearts of many people like lightning, because, since the Second World War, no one knows what the limits of war and its consequences may be.”
In his letter, Vlasenko shared how he has attempted to stop the military conflict, including sending an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin a day before the invasion voicing his support for requests from Ukrainian religious leaders “for a peaceful solution to all conflict.”
According to Christianity Today, the REA also conducted periods of fasting and prayer for peace between both countries as well as public prayer with Russian, Ukrainian, and European leaders “for the reconciliation of all parties.”
So far, the REA has offered aid to over 500 Ukrainian refugees who have fled to Southern Russia.
In closing, Vlasenko prayed that Ukrainian Christians would be strengthened in the Lord, forgive the Russians and stand together “as the people of God to our world.”
“May our heavenly Father help us all,” he concluded.
Last week, Baptist World Alliance, the world’s largest international Baptist organization, issued an open letter to Putin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Joe Biden calling for a ceasefire.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Tomas Ragina
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.