Displaying items by tag: Europe

Thursday, 03 March 2022 22:13

Ukraine: occupation outcomes

In war, victory lies not in defeating an army but in securing the willing submission of a population. Stability is the outcome needed, not a passing triumph of arms. Putin has misjudged the resistance of the Ukrainians and world opinion. He has misjudged the capability of the military tool he employed to secure his political goal. It is likely that the very brutal success of his military will ensure he fails to achieve his political objective of a stable and pliant Ukraine. The irony is that, even if he wins the war, he will lose the peace – for there will be no peace to keep. We can ask God to empower and encourage the Ukrainians in the midst of unimaginable conflict and confusion. Pray for God's provision of a canopy of His presence and protection over all who are under attack, and for those fleeing to achieve their goals.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 03 March 2022 22:10

Russian prisoners of war

Russian soldiers speaking in videos posted to the Ukraine security services' Facebook page warned, 'We're killing peaceful people'. An injured soldier sitting in front of a Ukrainian flag said, 'This is not our war. Mothers and wives, collect your husbands. There is no need to be here’. Other footage shows a handcuffed Russian prisoner crying over the death and destruction wrought by the war, saying, 'They don't even pick up the corpses, there are no funerals'. At least one of the soldiers urged Kyiv and Moscow to evacuate children from the warzone while another warned, 'No-one wants war'. Six days after Moscow ordered its forces into Ukraine, a Russian soldier texted home telling his mother, ‘All I want now is to kill myself. We were sent as cannon fodder.’ Weeping Russian POWs say they had no idea they were being sent to war, and said they were made 'to attack people defending their territory'.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 24 February 2022 21:11

A British prayer for Ukraine from Psalm 82

You are a God of justice, 

the one who rules in righteousness. 

You sweep away oppression, 

by a high and mighty politician. 

Lord, remove abuse of power, 

let the cunning plan turn sour. 

May Your angel armies win the day

as your people faithfully watch and pray.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 24 February 2022 20:58

Ukraine: pray during the time of turmoil

Every Generation Ministries bring the transformed life Jesus intends for children in Ukraine. Ukraine is home to over six million children and 5,000 evangelical churches. Russia and the West have battled over influence in Ukraine before. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of children were displaced from their homes to live in fear and uncertainty. The country is in turmoil again and the world is praying for peace. Ask God to invigorate the church to reach out to searching people during this time of tumult. Pray for boys and girls who are experiencing tremendous fear and anxiety during the current unrest and those still recovering from 2014. Ask God to give church leaders wisdom as they navigate the tensions of civilians bearing arms, bombs, and millions fleeing. Christians in the town of Lviv are deploying a shield of prayer and worship. In an upper room African Christians are praying for their host country, ready to be Jesus’ hands and feet to those who must flee. On the other side of Lviv pastors meet, plan and pray the battle for freedom. In separatist areas Christians forbidden from meeting together meet secretly.  Ukraine’s vibrant Jewish community of 200,000 is one of the largest in the world. Many elderly Jews are comfortable with Russians as their neighbours. When their men served in the Soviet army during WWII they couldn’t imagine then that Russia would attack Ukraine. ‘I’m following the news,’ said Vera, a 68-year-old Jewish lady who practises Heseds (generously lovingly helping others). ‘I pray daily to God. I’m trying to cheer up my fellow-seniors.’

Published in Europe
Thursday, 17 February 2022 21:31

Ukraine: no other path than NATO

Ukraine’s president has said joining NATO would guarantee his country's security. He says it will not be easy, but there is no other path for Ukraine. The UK's defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said Russia will be judged by its actions. ‘We've seen the opposite of some of Russia’s statements. We've seen an increase of troops over the last 48 hours up to 7,000, we've seen a bridge constructed from Belarus into Ukraine - or near Ukraine. At the moment Russia’s troop build-up continues.’ Wallace says NATO is united and is ‘deadly serious on how we're going to face the threat being posed to Ukraine and potentially our security’. Speaking after a meeting of defence ministers, he says it's becoming ‘tragically normal’ for Russia to use ‘malign activity and threats to try and get its way’ and Europe has to respond to that, adding, ‘This is a real challenge to the stability of Europe.’

Published in Europe
Thursday, 17 February 2022 21:29

Romania: prayer needs

A legacy of brokenness endures from the days of Ceausescu’s regime. Every kind of social evil came to fill the moral space left after Communism ended. People struggle with substance abuse, prostitution, human trafficking, and abuse of children. Deep corruption led to economic instability and widespread unemployment. Membership in the EU has helped push Romania further along the path of economic progress and stability. Pray for leadership that has wisdom to follow the right path, and integrity to establish right policies. Romania is one of the world’s most Christian nations by percentage, but it is difficult to see this in society. Communism’s atheistic worldview persists. Weak faith, hypocrisy, and slandering other denominations cause problems for all Christian groups. Christ is not glorified and the Church is not built up. Church members and clergy mix faith with folk religious practices or the occult. Churches neglect poor people.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 10 February 2022 21:13

Ukraine: prayers

Ukrainians are watching Russian forces mass at their borders, and we pray for all who are frightened and at risk in these dangerous times. We ask You, Father, to hold Ukrainians safely in Your hands and spread your banner of protection over them. Protect them from violence and political gamesmanship, from being used and abused in geopolitics. Give the nations of the world the courage to stand up for justice and dare to show that they care generously. Father, we echo all the intercessions for those families living under the threats of war. May they be granted a calmness of spirit by Your presence. May the diplomatic voices of discernment and peaceful solutions be heard and successfully break the enemy’s hold. Lord, raise up peacemakers on all sides and build trust amongst the diplomats. Give them heaven's wisdom. May the Church in these nations be salt and light in dark situations. 

Published in Europe
Tagged under
Thursday, 10 February 2022 21:11

European shuttle diplomacy

On 7 February President Macron travelled to Moscow and then to Kyiv, to meet the presidents of Russia and Ukraine and seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis. At the same time, German chancellor Olaf Scholz was in Washington aiming to convince Joe Biden to trust him despite being wishy-washy on Russia. On 10 February Boris Johnson went to Brussels. In the week beginning 14 February, Scholz will meet Vladimir Putin himself. Despite Scholz’s doveish approach to Russia threatening European unity, France, Germany, and the US are still allies. Many believe the scenario of Macron keeping Scholz and Biden out of the loop on his talks with Putin and Zelensky is as unlikely as the German chancellor cutting a deal with Biden behind Macron’s back.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 10 February 2022 21:07

Bosnia: ghost of nationalism returns

Bosnia's political class has failed to short-circuit its dysfunctional governance. Serb strongman Milorad Dodik is raising ghosts of the past. UK ambassador Matt Field’s recent blog condemned deep-seated corruption, ‘consequence-free’ politics and the way powerful individuals could steal public money, block reform, praise war criminals, manipulate elections, and deny justice. Relations between Bosnia and Serbia turned critical last July when the outgoing high representative, an Austrian with roots in former Yugoslavia, banned the denial of genocide. A foreigner passing laws outraged the Bosnian Serb leader. He ramped up separatist rhetoric and stopped cooperating with the national institutions of which he is part. Christian Schmidt, the high representative, said Bosnia is gripped by the ‘greatest existential crisis of the post-war period’, and Dodik’s threat to turn his armed police into a revived Bosnian Serb army risked a return to war.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 03 February 2022 20:54

France: new Omicron sub-variant

Studies are underway to find the precise characteristics of the latest Covid-19 variant, BA2. Accounting for over half of sequenced Omicron cases in 57 countries, it appears more transmissible than the original strain and more able to infect the vaccinated. BA2, nicknamed ‘Omicron's little brother’, was mentioned for the first time during a press conference on 20 January and is being scrutinised by scientists. It appears to have a growth advantage compared to the version of Omicron that has swept the globe. Analysis suggests it could be substantial, although there is a risk of over-estimating growth advantage in the early stages. What we know is that it is a growing proportion of cases. There are no precise data yet on its resistance to vaccines or the severity of the cases.

Published in Europe