Prayer Community

 

Each week, our prayer community of ~750 intercedes for a Christian leader from the Majority World. If you join, you will receive an email that contains an introduction to that leader’s work and home country, followed by a personal message from the leader with prayer requests.

 

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Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is often identified with the countries that were once part of the Soviet Union or under its sway. Despite post-Communist atheism, the Eastern Orthodox Church wields considerable influence in the region. Protestants remain a small, often opposed minority.

After the fall of the Communist bloc, many Eastern Europeans came to faith in the early 1990s through Evangelical missionaries, who planted churches and established seminaries. Although Church growth has slowed substantially, Eastern Europeans continue to take up Christ’s Great Commission.

Decisions from Moscow still affect the entire region. The Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 led to war in Eastern Ukraine that portended the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. In response, Christian schools like Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary, Odessa Theological Seminary, and Tavriski Christian Institute evacuated and housed the vulnerable, transported food and medical supplies, and fed hundreds daily – while also offering prayer, distributing Bibles, preaching the Gospel, and responding theologically to urgent questions of identity, trauma, and theodicy. Even as war continues, the schools have resumed online courses, training pastors and chaplains during this difficult time.

Neighboring countries in Eastern Europe – especially Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova – have since received millions of Ukrainian refugees. University Divitia Gratiae in Moldova has taken its place among a network of Christian institutions caring for displaced Ukrainian women, children, and elderly people, and helping them make arrangements for long-term safety.

Through the Vital Sustainability Initiative, Scholar Leaders has collaborated with University Divitia Gratiae in Moldova; Kuban Evangelical Christian University in Russia; and Odessa Theological Seminary, Tavriski Christian Institute, and Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary in Ukraine. Currently, we are helping the Ukrainian seminaries and other affected schools rebuild theological education in the wake of war. Through Leader Studies, Scholar Leaders has supported 16 Christian leaders from Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Macedonia, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.

Thanks to generous donors, Scholar Leaders mobilized over $800,000 in 2022 for relief and rebuilding theological education in Ukraine. Our 2022 Annual Report includes an update about the Ukrainian Relief Fund. The June 2022 issue of our InSights Journal for Global Theological Education features Ukrainian voices. Read Taras Dyatlik’s Global InSights, Speaking of Pain and Waiting. A Ukrainian, Taras guides our Church & Society initiative on gospel-driven responses to war.

Let us continue praying for our sisters and brothers in Eastern Europe, as they “shine like stars in the world, holding forth the word of life” (Phil. 2:16). Pray for war to cease in Ukraine and for God’s righteousness to rise “with healing in its healings” (Mal. 4:2). Pray for wisdom and resilience for all who call on Jesus’ name, that they might persevere as agents of hope in Eastern Europe and beyond.

Photo: Lviv, Ukraine (2021) by Nataliia Kvitovska on Unsplash