It has been devastating to watch the heartbreaking and brutal scenes from Ukraine following the unprovoked and unjustified invasion by Russian forces.

Yet we have also witnessed the remarkable resilience and strength of many. The aggression, violence and expansionism of the Russian leadership shows some of the worst traits of humankind, but in the outpouring of kindness, compassion and solidarity we have also witnessed hope in these dark and incredibly difficult days.

With such significant geo-political movements it can be easy to feel disempowered and unable to know where to start. And yet as I’ve watched and prayed, I feel there are four key ways in which we can respond:

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1. Pray for Ukraine and all those directly involved

Let’s pray relentlessly for an end to this invasion, for those living in fear, for lives to be spared, for the hurting and grieving, for the church to rise up and serve it’s nation in such a challenging moment and for peace to return. I’m praying for international institutions and national governments as they work for peace but I’m also praying for miraculous intervention from God who can move mountains.

Christianity Today reported of one church in Ukraine: “‘The whole church prayed on their knees for our president, our country, and for peace,’ said Vadym Kulynchenko of his church in Kamyanka, 145 miles south of the capital. After the service, we did a first-aid training.’”

Christians across the world are praying together this Wednesday at 9pm UK time. You can join an online prayer event as part of this here.

2. Give voice to opposition and condemnation

We join with the European Evangelical Alliance in their clear condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In a statement last week, general secretary Thomas Bucher said: We see no justification for these actions and are deeply distressed by the death, destruction, chaos and misery that will result. The invasion of Ukraine is both unjustified and unprovoked.”

We commend the bravery of the Russian Evangelical Alliance in calling for President Putin to pursue peace rather than war. The Evangelical Alliance does not normally comment on foreign policy, however, in this moment it is vital that we stand with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, Russia and beyond in condemning Putin’s actions. We call for the attacks to cease, for Russia to withdraw immediately and for peace and reconciliation to be pursued.

3. A place of sanctuary

The UK government has spoken clearly of standing with the people of Ukraine, but this needs to be backed up with meaningful policy action. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing across Europe and it is vital that the UK does all it can to welcome refugees from this crisis.

It seems that the government’s desire to sound tough on immigration is currently being prioritised over a compassionate response to people fleeing battlefields. The UK should go beyond the proposed seasonal worker schemes and immediately make clear that it will admit refugees fleeing Ukraine regardless of whether they have family members in the UK, or their visa status. Let’s not forget that the immigration legislation currently before parliament needs to ensure that the way we police our borders is just and fair. Too often this government has failed to achieve this. This crisis is a reminder that a fair immigration system should treat all people equally. Reports that ethnic minorities fleeing Ukraine are being treated with suspicion and hesitation are of deep concern.

4. Respond with our hearts, hands and wallets

Finally, we should respond with practical action where we can. Many churches will have missionary partners with links to Ukraine and those that don’t can support member organisations of the Evangelical Alliance which have long track records of working in crisis situations or specifically in Ukraine:

Writing in a different context, theologian Andrew Shamy says: Grief in light of Christian hope can remain grief without curdling into rage, or numbness, or bitterness, or despair. It need not be cast off too quickly or buried deep down to fester. It need not overwhelm. Grief and hope can step together. Indeed, the Christian landscape of hope offers courage and perseverance in the midst of our grief.”

In the light of the ongoing news from Ukraine I encourage you to pray and act with hope. To call on our government to be compassionate and generous to those struggling the most and to stand with those suffering in this hour of great need.


Write to your MP

Use the form below to find out who your MP is and then using the information submitted you will be able to email your MP. When you generate the email it will send a copy to the advocacy team, if you do not wish to do this you will be able to deselect this after you press send email’, and before it is sent to your MP.

Using your own words we would encourage you to ask your MP to support a generous policy towards refugees from the Ukraine that goes beyond those with family members in the UK and supports all fleeing the conflict. The government have announced a couple of new policy approaches, but these still have restrictions or will take time to implement, what is needed is immediate action.

Ask your MP to support a far reaching and generous policy towards refugees from Ukraine