Opinion | The evangelical case for U.S. military aid to Ukraine

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How many American evangelicals do you know? Their faith is being targeted. Russian military forces in Ukraine?

In November last yearUkrainian Evangelical Church leader Anatoly Prokopchuk and his 19-year-old son Oleksandr were kidnapped by Russian soldiers. Four days later, the couple’s bodies were found in the woods with evidence that they had been tortured to death. The Russian invaders are closed. They closed the three largest evangelical Protestant churches in Melitopol and the church in Mariopol. In August, Yaroslav Piz, president of the Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary, speculated about that. 400 Ukrainian Baptist congregations In the war in Ukraine, it disappeared partly from displaced and displaced communities, and partly from damaged and destroyed churches.

The campaign seems to have another driver, aside from the Russian military’s brutality against civilians in occupied territories. as a witnessWhen the Russian soldiers captured Prokopchuk, before he was killed, the soldiers specifically mentioned the relationship of Ukrainian evangelicals with the West. When we see how involved Putin’s regime is It is with the Russian Orthodox Church, in some ways, this is a religious war.

The brutality of Russia against Ukrainian evangelicals shows how shameful it is Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was in a recent GOP debate when he claimed the government was responsible for the “banning of Christians.” In July, Tucker Carlson, Interview with the former vice president Mike Pence Brings Up “Christians Migrating In Ukraine”

What angers the GOP’s far right is Kiev’s wariness of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s potential relationship with Moscow. Now Ukraine He is considering legislation. Christianity Today wrote in October that this would give the government the power to “investigate the ties of religious groups in Ukraine to the Russian Federation and ban their leadership from outside Ukraine.” It is the law. Aimed at the Ukrainian Orthodox Churchwhich one He declared his complete independence from the Russian Orthodox Church in May 2022, but according to a UK-based news website Notes on open democracySome Ukrainians argue that “Church leaders don’t seem willing to end the break.”

We can argue whether this proposed law is an appropriate measure in the name of national security, but this is about an institution collaborating with the enemy in wartime; Theological beliefs are not the issue. The proposed policy is not about restricting people’s religious beliefs, but an attempt to limit measures that will help the Russians win the war.

A big question in Washington now is how many House Republicans can be convinced to keep sending military aid to Ukraine, with the caucus roughly divided. It’s fair to assume that aid opponents — who are buying into the Ukraine-ban-Christians rhetoric in Trump-friendly circles — know or care that Russia is trying to destroy evangelical churches in occupied Ukrainian territories.

Mark Thieson: This is a case of ‘America First’ to support Ukraine.

Steven Moore is a former GOP congressional staffer who is now the president of the presidency. Ukrainian Independence ProjectAn organization that provides relief to Ukrainian communities near the front. In a survey conducted in early November Among 679 Republican primary voters in 24 congressional districts, the organization found that once respondents, especially evangelical Christians among them, learned about the Russian military’s abuse of evangelicals in Ukraine, they were more supportive of continued aid to Ukraine.

When told that “Christians were tortured with electric shocks and beaten with baseball bats” during the Russian invasion, 70 percent of self-identified evangelical Christians say they are more likely to support Congress providing more funding for Ukraine’s self-defense. Overall, 63 percent self-identified as a GOP primary; Voters say they are more likely to support more military aid to Ukraine after hearing that statement.

Arguments against helping Ukraine – high US deficit and debt; Lack of a clear plan for victory; Importance of Taiwan’s coastal defense; The wars seem unending – they are not worthless, but they are bloodless. A source in Ukraine told a human rights organization that when you read the sentences about Prokopchuk and his son, it’s hard to dismiss the war as someone else. Problem

Ukrainians are not asking Americans to go to war and save them. They are demanding continued access to weapons and ammunition that the United States can easily provide.

Help the Ukrainians, and they have a fighting chance. Leave them alone, and Putin and his thugs will probably finally destroy them in a hostile war. Every American, evangelical or not, should take note.

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