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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Russian And Ukrainian Baptist Leadership Met In Kiev On 8 April

Below is an extract from Australian Christian Newspaper,New Life.An encouragement to those in times of uncertainty in the Ukraine. 
May God bring these two countries together and Christians in both countries remain looking to Jesus and not at each other or those who are not Christians.

Russian And Ukrainian Baptist Leadership Met In Kiev On 8 April
RUSSIAN and Ukrainian Baptist leadership met in Kiev on 8 April – the first meeting between the heads of the All­ Ukrainian Union Of Associations Of Evangelical Christians­Baptists and the Russian Union Of Evangelical Christians­ Baptists since the dramatic overthrow of the Ukrainian Government in Crimea on 21,22. Following initial talks at Kiev Baptist headquarters, RUECB­President Alexey Smirnov addressed staff in a sermon followed by a festive din­ ner and the signing of the joint communiqué translated below. The primary hosts were AUUAECB­President Vyach­ eslav Nesteruk and Vice­President Valery Antonyuk. Back in Moscow on 9 April, Vitaly Vlasenko, the RUECB’s Director of External Church Relations, described the gathering as ‘fantastic’. The day’s events even included an ‘in­ teresting’ visit to Maidan Square. The meeting had been marked by cordiality. The statement indicates that Ukrain­ ian and Russian Baptists have every intention to continue their long­standing co­operation.
Statement By The Leadership Of The Russian And All­Ukrainian Unions Of Evangelical Christians­Baptists
‘We representatives of the congregations of Evangelical Christians­Baptists In Russia and Ukraine have come to­ gether to express our common views on issues of major concern to people in our churches and countries. We thereby present a visible sign of support for the possibility of a peaceful dialogue between our churches and nations.
All of our congregations pray continually for peace between our peoples as well as for those who have suffered dur­ ing the course of the recent political stand­off. We pray for the maintenance of lasting peace and understanding be­ tween the citizens of our countries independent of their national and confessional affiliations ...
• We express our sincere willingness to pray and support deeds of fraternal dialogue and the promotion of peace in the Russian and Ukrainian societies.

• We appeal to all who are responsible for the future of our countries to hold firmly to the principles of freedom of conscience and confession as well as the non­interference of the state and political forces in the internal life of reli­ gious organisations.
• We condemn all acts of violence and brutality against persons as well as the resolution of political problems by mil­ itary means and we appeal to all members of the various religious groups to contribute to the process of forgiveness and agreement between our peoples.

• We mourn those killed in mass clashes on both sides of the conflict, both among the public and combatants.
• We call on our brothers and sisters in the churches of Russia and Ukraine to pray for a peaceful resolution of the political confrontation between our two countries.
• We call on our peoples to make every effort to avoid any provocations, to retain in their hearts love for the neigh­ bour, to respect his human dignity and religious beliefs.
• We are ready, regardless of our circumstances, to co­operate further in proclaiming the Gospel in our own coun­ tries and throughout the world.

– President Vyacheslav NesterukPresident Aleksey Smirnov, Russian Union of Evangelical Christians­Baptists

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