By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
UKRAINE (ANS) -- The Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (UECB) is having a special conference for missionary pastors beginning Jan. 29.
According to a news release from The Slavic Gospel Association (SGA), members of the UECB, are asking that those so inclined ask the Lord "to protect the pastors as they travel and then meet, and also to bless their time together as they discuss how best to advance the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ in their troubled nation."
A huge crowd gathered in Kiev over the weekend.
An article on the SGA website said in the capital of Kiev, two people were reported killed in battles between protesters and state security forces. These were the first fatalities in two months of demonstrations.
Kiev is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River.
SGA said the protests began when Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich froze key integration agreements with the European Union. Eventually, the protests went beyond the EU issue and became anti-government in general.
Subsequent crackdowns by the government have sparked renewed demonstrations with larger numbers and more violence. On Sunday, about 100,000 people marched, and the violence prompted the government to authorize the use of lethal force.
SGA President Dr. Bob Provost said in the article, "I am asking our partners to support the UECB in calling for urgent intercessory prayer, appealing for calm and reconciliation in the country."
SGA said it has also received this statement from Ukrainian UEBC President Vyacheslav Nesteruk.
He wrote, "I appeal to the president of the country, to the protesters, to the opposition, and to all Christians in Ukraine. Since these events have reached a critical point and society is just a step away from civil war, we believe that we need to immediately use all peaceful means to resolve the situation. We call on all sides of the conflict to move from words to specific actions for reconciliation."
Nesteruk added, "Although people have lost faith in the ability of government to reach a peaceful outcome, we see immediate dialogue as the solution. God's guidance is needed ... We call on Christians everywhere to increase your prayers that sin and lawlessness will not be allowed to lead to civil war. May the Lord protect Ukraine."
SGA helps evangelical churches make disciples of the people of the lands of Russia for Jesus Christ through prayer, strategic ministry and financial assistance.