The situation in Ukraine is still unresolved and tensions are mounting. The Western missionaries, and indeed most of the non-media Westerners, have been pulled out. My sources tell me that the Ukrainian Baptists are preparing for the worst. Specifically the invasion of the Eastern half of Ukraine. The Baptist Union tin the country has mobilized an effort to prepare for refugees, planning on opening homes and churches in the west as shelters. The Baptists have good reason to prepare and a good reason to flee. During 2019 and 2020 we saw many reports of Baptist and other Protestant groups being targeted by religious laws in Russia, something that is still going on but in the light of the pandemic has become less reported. Also, historically, Baptist have existed as an underground movement in both Russia and Ukraine; first during the Czars then under the Communists, not to mention a brief stint under the Nazis in the west. They have operated in secret, keeping there heads down and trying not to draw attention while also printing Bibles and song books, engaging in missionary work, and having services. Illegal activities all under the Soviets. while we in the west might think of the fall of the Soviet Union as ancient history, most adult Ukrainians were born under its rule and the signs are still everywhere. This is living memory for them. Baptists, internationally, have long stood for religious liberty for all and have had a way, if not of thriving then at least continuing and outlasting dictatorial regimes.
When ever I hear anyone on the US talk about a “war on Christians” I have to shake my head. The last time Baptists were persecuted to any significant degree in the US was the 1760s. Disagreeing with someone is not persecution. Asking to be treated as equal is not persecution. Baptists in America have no concept of what it means to be persecuted, but our brothers and sisters in Ukraine do.
That’s why they are preparing for the worst.
Please pray for Ukraine.