Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A turning to God in Ukraine

After disgraced Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, leaving behind his palatial presidential palace and, allegedly, partially concealed evidence of money laundering, Oleksandr Turchynov was appointed interim president.

Turchynov is well known in the Ukraine. He is a successful novelist, has been head of one of the country's first independent news agencies, and is a Baptist pastor. Yulia Tymoshenko, released from prison after two years, announced her decision to run for president. Turchynov is said to be her right-hand man.

Ukraine is predominantly Orthodox and Catholic. It is only 2.4% Protestant, but the Baptist Church has grown in prominence since Soviet days, when evangelical churches were illegal.

According to the European Baptist Federation, the appointment of Turchynov as interim president is not only a good thing for believers in Ukraine, but an answer to fervent prayer.

"During all these days of protests and confrontation, the Christian community has been the light and the salt for both parties. The doctors, nurses, cooks, students and other Christian groups have been helping wherever there was a need," the federation said.

"The situation caused the churches and even denominations get united in prayers and fasting for the peace and God's intervention. People started crying out to God and the TV media spoke about the role of the church and quoted Scriptures. 

"What Ukraine needs is not just a change of people in authority but a change of the system and the relationship of the authorities to ordinary citizens. Ukraine needs love, mercy and forgiveness. Ukraine needs Christ."

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