Despite the millions of refugees that fled Ukraine, a large number of people remain in the country not only to defend their land but also to defend their religious freedom.
When Russia launched an unprovoked attack on neighboring Ukraine on February 24, Christians all over the world mobilized to support Ukrainians any way they can, whether it was through humanitarian efforts or through simple prayer. There has been an outpouring of support for many Christians who decided to stay in Ukraine amid the war with Russia as well.
"The roots for Churches of Christ in Ukraine go really deep," Justin Ardrey, communication minister for the Sycamore View Church of Christ in Memphis, Tennessee told the Christian Chronicle. "It's hard to talk to a Church of Christ and them not have...some kind of relationship with Ukrainian missions."
The Christian Post reported that Christians in Ukraine are facing a similar plight to those in Afghanistan, Nigeria, China, Iran, North Korea, Mozambique, and Somalia, among other nations where religious persecution exists. The report said, "Since these Christians are not fighting a physical war, they need spiritual weapons instead of bullets or missiles. So, they ask us to pray for them and to send more Bibles."
In fact, the deputy general secretary of the Ukrainian Bible Society Anatoliy Raychynets said in February that Kyiv, which has been under attack by Russia for three weeks now, has run out of bibles after so many people went out to purchase them.
The Voice of the Martyrs founder Pastor Richard Wurmbrand once famously said about persecuted Christians, "Give us the tools we need, and we will pay the price for using them." This is now especially true for those in Kyiv, Mariupol, and Odessa in Ukraine, as well as in other countries which face religious persecution on a daily basis.
"Christians in more than 70 nations face regular attacks and persecution because of their Christian faith and testimony, and many choose to remain in their country to serve God and tell others of His love," CP reported.
As world leaders are addressing the call of Ukrainian political figures for more ammunition and support for the continued battle, it is the responsibility of Christians in free nations to mobilize and advocate for their "spiritual family members in restricted nations and hostile areas." Whether it's by sending more bibles, hosting refugees, or providing humanitarian efforts, these are the little ways in which Christians can help each other during the most difficult times.
The Voice of the Martyrs has long committed to the principle that each Christian all over the world should have a copy of the Bible. Because of this belief, it has delivered over one million bibles annually to Christians in the world's most dangerous places to be a Christian, such as Iran, China, Afghanistan, India, and northern Nigeria. It describes the Bible as "spiritual ammunition" for those who live in nations that are restrictive and hostile to the religion.
Thus, Christians in Ukraine are also "asking for more ammunition to fight spiritual battles in enemy territory." Those who have chosen to stay know that "the battle is already won in Christ."