Ukraine’s Evangelical Seminaries Plead for Help

One month ago, Taras Dyatlik gathered in Moldova with friends and partners for another 10-day round of mundane seminary meetings. Serving as regional director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia for Overseas Council, he was a lynchpin for strategy and funding for a network of theological institutions in Ukraine and Russia.

Three days later, he was desperately scrambling back to Kyiv. Dyatlik’s family—like much of Ukraine—was under Russian military fire. And the only thing louder than the air raid sirens that would soon pervade his sleepless nights was the silence of his Russian colleagues.

“It’s not a conflict, it’s not a situation, it’s not tension within Ukraine; this is invasion, this is aggression; this is not a special operation,” he said, using the terms employed by most Russians—and too many otherwise cautious supporters in the West.

He emphasized the Bible shows the importance of precision in language.

“It’s not just that Abel died or that Jesus was just betrayed; Judas betrayed Jesus, Cain killed Abel,” he said. “Not just that a man sinned; Adam and Eve sinned. Biblical truth has names, has a cause-and-effect chain.”

Dyatlik’s charged remarks mirrored others voiced at an online roundtable organized Thursday by the Ukraine-based Eastern European Institute of Theology (EEIT). About 500 supporters, partners, and general wellwishers registered for The Russia-Ukraine War: Evangelical Voices, eager to hear from fellow believers on the front lines.

The attendees, from at least 25 nations and 20 US states, received theological reflection—and raw emotion.

“It’s difficult for us Ukrainians to stay calm when we talk about what is happening in Ukraine,” said Roman Soloviy, EEIT director, who served as moderator. “Most of us men have never cried so much as during the last three weeks. We really need your help, your prayer, and your voice in the world.”

Oleksandr Geychenko, rector of Odessa Theological Seminary (OTS), expressed the shock of all.

“We died with the pregnant woman and her child when the maternity hospital was bombed. We fled with those running from Russian shooting,” he said. “All we were used to is wiped out—now just a wilderness.”

https://www..com/news/2022/march/russia-ukraine-war-seminary-help-prayer-uets-ots-tci-lts.html?fbclid=IwAR11CQ69DymYrnD-NuACZg9klt5S0-3G4eidlatvIJ-3bwMZwWpQOv-VMcQ

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