A Message to Evangelical Christians: Please Remember Ukraine

Credits: Chester Road Baptist Church

Eight days after Russian forces invaded Crimea in 2014, Reverend Franklin Graham published an op-ed in Decision Magazine attempting to explain Vladimir Putin to American Christians.

Graham praised Putin’s campaigns to protect traditional values and Christians abroad while lamenting America’s perceived loss of moral ground.

The article did not mention Russia’s illegal operations in Ukraine or the international condemnation they received. In 2015, Graham even met with Putin in Russia.

This relationship reflects a broader trend among American Christians who sympathize with Putin’s self-proclaimed defense of traditional, Christian values against liberal threats, even at the cost of ignoring his warmongering.

Evangelical Christians (Credits: CEPA)

While Graham clarified that he wasn’t endorsing Putin, he echoed some of Putin’s views on LGBTQ issues and military intervention in Syria.

A decade after Russia invaded Crimea, some evangelical Christians still find themselves disappointed with America’s perceived drift from traditional values, wondering if Putin is an unexpected champion. However, they may forget about Ukraine, the sovereign country Russia invaded in 2022.

Despite Russia’s intervention in international conflicts on behalf of oppressed Christians, such as in the Middle East, Putin’s revitalization of Russian Christianity for nationalistic ends raises questions about his motives. The Russian Orthodox Church has supported Russia’s foreign policy, even as it committed alleged war crimes in Syria.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, a largely Christian country, contradicts his claim to defend the faith. Despite propaganda suggesting otherwise, the Russian government has been accused of committing war crimes against Ukrainian Orthodox Christians.

Christians should approach Russia’s claims to defend Christianity abroad with skepticism, considering the political undertones. While Christians should not isolate themselves, they must remain critical of the Russian government’s actions, avoiding Russophobic language and practices.

Like Graham, Christians can update their understanding of Putin and Ukraine, expressing support for humanitarian efforts and prayer for both countries. Dear evangelical Christian, please remember Ukraine.

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