March 12, 2014
Crimea Vote Pending
(K-LOVE News) On Sunday, March 16, voters across Crimea will be asked to decide the fate of the region and perhaps ultimately the fate of Ukraine.
The Crimean Parliament says it will declare the region an independent state, apart from Ukraine, if voters favor aligning with Russia. Many consider that likely. Then Crimea would formally ask to join the Russian Federation. This would bring Crimea full circle back under Russian domination. Keep in mind that for decades Ukraine was part of the old Soviet Union, which dissolved on Christmas Day in 1991. A legacy of that is that a majority of people in Crimea speak Russian and the entire Russian Black Sea Fleet is based in Crimea under a lease agreement. But Crimea is legally part of Ukraine.
The obvious dilemma is that Ukraine, a sovereign nation of nearly 46-million people, was invaded by Russia. Initially, Moscow waffled about the presence of its troops. Then they claimed thousands of troops were sent in because Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych was the victim of a ‘coup.’ But others would say Yanukovych was chased away as everyday Ukrainians, and later Parliament, rose up to defy his policies, which included a bent toward Russia and claims of official corruption. He was replaced by Oleksandr Turchynov, who was a leader in Parliament. He is also described as an evangelical elder and lay pastor at a church in Kiev.
"...many are seeking God’s will and guidance for all that’s going on… and what could take place in the world’s most-recent trouble spot."
Putin power grab?
Observers believe Russian President Putin saw an opportunity to all-but-annex a previous Russian state and he calculated accurately that the European Union, NATO and the United States would certainly not intervene militarily. There is continued discussion of what economic sanctions might be lodged against Russia.
Prayer and more prayer
Lots of prayer has been taking place worldwide for outright war to be avoided, whether civil war or multiple nations involved. Because faith can sometimes be blended with patriotism, some with a Russian persuasion may be praying one way, while others with a Ukraine lean may be praying the other way when it comes to what the geographic map eventually looks like. But it’s believed most all are praying for a peaceful resolution.
For one, Crimean-based Pastor Kostya Bakonov tells Baptist Press there should be “less news and television, more Bible and prayer.” The pastor believes the current crisis and the earlier massive demonstrations in Kiev have caused people in Ukraine to be more spiritually open, allowing for an opportunity to share the message of Christ. He says, “I continue to preach the Gospel to the people of Crimea and beyond.”
In a news release, Russian Ministries, which overseas outreaches in Russia and Ukraine, says, “We pray that the church in both Russia and Ukraine, which have survived the persecution of the Stalin era, will stand firm for the gospel and will serve as salt and light during this time of great turmoil and unrest.”
In the meantime, the Group of 7 world nations, which includes the United States, vows not to recognize the results of the coming Crimean referendum. The White House says the process is not legal and is flawed.
With tensions still running high, the outcome of this chapter in history has yet to be written. That’s why many are seeking God’s will and guidance for all that’s going on… and what could take place in the world’s most-recent trouble spot.