Belarusian evangelicals join to pray amid the country’s crisis
The main evangelical churches release a joint statement calling Christians “to unite in prayer for our country [...] our hope is the Lord Jesus Christ”.
MINSK · 14 AUGUST 2020 · 13:40 CET
Belarus is in the midst of a social, political and economic crisis, after Aleksander Lukashenko won the elections last, with a result that not many believe to be a real reflection of the will of the population.
Many voted for Svetlana Tijanovskaya, the partner of the main opposition candidate, who continues to be in prison, but officially she got less than 10% of votes, so that she filed a complaint for electoral fraud, but was retained by the authorities for hours and finally forced to leave the country to Lithuania.
Since then, there have been several demonstrations against Lukashenko where the police used the violence. Hundreds of wounded people have been treated in hospitals. It is estimated that around 6.700 have already been detained.
It is key to “let others know what is happening here, to raise awareness outside Belarus”, Natasha (name changed), a Belarussian Christian who now lives abroad but has family in the country, told Evangelical Focus.
Evangelical joint statement
Many Belarusian evangelicals are against the government. Several have taken part in the demonstrations, knowing the big personal risk that comes with any action that could be perceived by the government as rebellious behaviour.
The Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists in Belarus, the United Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith in Belarus, and the Religious Association of Full Gospel Communities in Belarus (charismatics), released a joint statement on Thursday, calling on “to pray for our country in accordance with God's command in Micah 6: 8”.
“Pray for all people, for those in charge, that they have the fear of God and remember that there is a Supreme Judge over them, whom we will all give an account to”, they said in the statment.
Evangelical leaders asked to “pray for an end to the violence and bloodshed, and for all those affected and their families. Pray that the Lord will save us from hatred, vengeance and resentment”.
“Pray that the people will turn through Jesus Christ to God and love Him with all their heart, with all their souls and with all their minds, and their neighbor as themselves. Only when we love God can we love our neighbor correctly” they added.
“Unite in prayer every day”
The statement “propose to unite in prayer every day at 9:00 and 21:00, as well as perform prayers at worship services, relying on God's wisdom and strength”.
“Earthly hopes are not always fulfilled, but our hope is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the one who believes in Him will never be ashamed. And if there is no bright light in the clouds yet, then the wind will blow and clear them”, they pointed out.
“The latest events in our country cannot leave anyone indifferent”
The Religious Association of Full Gospel Communities in Belarus (charismatics), were the first ones who released a statement on Wednesday, stressing that “the latest events in our country cannot leave anyone indifferent. We, as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven and citizens of the Republic of Belarus, must show our position”.
“There is a language of wisdom and prudence, which creates a family, city, nation. There is the language of military weapons, the language of violence and rudeness - and this is the destructive force of society”, they added.
Furthermore, they asked to pray “for the wisdom and prudence of leaders in all spheres of government and protest leaders, for dialogue and the search for Divine options for a way out of this situation.We call on everyone to pray unceasingly until the current situation is resolved”.
Right before the elections, the Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists in Belarus also called Christians “to pray for our country, peace and prosperity of the people, for the triumph of justice and mercy, and, showing faithfulness in good deeds, we ourselves will take care of the well-being of the country in which the Lord settled us”.
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