Russian and Ukrainian Baptist Leaders meet in Kiev

Russian and Ukrainian Baptist Leaders meet in Kiev

EBF News Service - April 10, 2014

For the first time since the political crisis in Ukraine developed, leaders of the Baptist Unions of Russia and Ukraine came together in Kiev in April 8, in what they described as a very 'cordial' meeting. Following the meeting, a Statement was issued by the two Union Presidents, indicating their desire to continue the strong and close relationships which the two Unions have always enjoyed.

Tony Peck, EBF General Secretary commented that it was very good that the leaders of the two Unions had been able to meet. 'It shows that the Gospel we believe in transcends political differences between nations and unites us in an overall concern for peace and reconciliation in Christ. Ukraine still has some tough days ahead and we will continue to pray for its leaders and its people.'

Statement by the Leadership of the Russian and All-Ukrainian Unions of Evangelical Christians-Baptists

„Blessed are the peacemakers . . . .“ Matthew 5:9

We representatives of the congregations of Evangelical Christians-Baptists in Russia and Ukraine have come together 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 during the course of the recent political stand-off. We pray for the maintenance of lasting peace and understanding between 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 non-interference of the state and political forces in the internal life of religious organisations.

* We condemn all acts of violence and brutality against persons as well as the resolution of political problems by military means.

* 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 neighbour, 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 countries and throughout the world.


President Vyacheslav Nesteruk
All-Ukrainian Union of Associations of Evangelical Christians-Baptists

President Aleksey Smirnov
Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists

Kiev (Kyiv), 8 April 2014

Photo by the Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of Russia presents Aleksey Smirnov, President of the Russian Baptists on the left talking to Vyacheslav Nesteruk, President of the Ukrainian Baptists.