Russia, Ukraine and the World
The struggle over how to handle Russia’s land grab continues. As the United States and the World continue to place penalties on various Russia entities, the Russian government counters with travel restrictions on several United States lawmakers.
Russia and the Ukraine
The dust has hardly settled from the Sochi Olympics and Vladimir Putin has requested and received unanimous approval from the Russian parliament’s upper house to use military in the Ukraine.
Ukraine has placed their armed forces on high alert and requested that the Russian Prime Minister Medvedev have troops stationed at the base in Crimea to return.
Grigory Karasin the current Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation didn’t specify details regarding potential military action.
Wars and rumors of wars. What else is new?
Sochi Olympics Missionary Activity
Bob Provost the President of the Slavic Gospel Association reports,
“There have been significant security concerns in the weeks building up to the Games. The city of Sochi is located in southern Russia along the Black Sea, and is only a few hundred miles from the troubled Caucasus Mountains region where there has been much bloodshed and terrorist activity. In fact, only a few weeks ago, terrorists linked to the North Caucasus allegedly carried out two bombing attacks in Volgograd, a major city only 400 some miles from Sochi. Today, International Olympic Committee chairman Thomas Bach paid tribute to the 34 victims killed in the bombing, urging warring parties to cease their activities during the Games.
Several Russian missionary pastors sponsored by SGA partners are planning numerous ways of reaching out with the Gospel, including street witnessing and tract distribution. It is uncertain whether the very heavy security will pose difficulties for the peaceful missionaries, who are intent on proclaiming the love of the Lord Jesus Christ to all who will hear. And we trust in the One who declares … Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut . . . (Revelation 3:8).
Please join us in regular intercession throughout the Olympics. Pray for the safety of the athletes and the spectators and for the Gospel to go forth in power. We look forward to hearing exciting reports from the missionary pastors and their outreaches over the next few weeks.”
Ukraine Violence: Churches Call for Prayer
Bob Provost the President of the Slavic Gospel Association reports, “We have been deeply troubled by the reports of growing violence in Ukraine. In the capital of Kiev, two people were reported killed yesterday in battles between protesters and state security forces. These were the first fatalities in two months of demonstrations.
These protests began when Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich froze key integration agreements with the European Union. Eventually, the protests went beyond the EU issue and became anti-government in general. Subsequent crackdowns by the government have sparked renewed demonstrations with larger numbers and more violence. On Sunday, about 100,000 people marched, and the violence prompted the government to authorize the use of lethal force.
I also heard from Dr. Igor Yaremchuk, president of the SGA-sponsored Irpen Biblical Seminary near Kiev. He is deeply concerned, and says that the situation is getting worse … in his words, “Only God can stop it!” Please pray for peace and for the protection of our brothers and sisters, asking God to use them to model His love, and to advance the Gospel in Ukraine.”
Pray for the people of that troubled nation that the unrest does not turn into civil war and that God would watch over his people.
Ariel Sharon Dead at 85
One of Israels most influential military and political leaders has passed away at the age of 85 years old.
Sharon had suffered a stroke in 2006 which was followed by eight years in a comatose state.
Militarily he is know for leading Israel’s army to victory over Egypt, Jordan and Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War which lead to Israel occupying most of Sinai.
As a politician he was responsible for the order for Israeli settlers to leave Gaza in 2005.
The New York Times quoted Raanan Gissin, a close aide to Sharon as saying that, “He was not an ideologue; he was a political architect.”
North Korea: Dennis Rodman Insinuates Christian Missionary Kenneth Bae of Wrongdoing
During an interview with Chris Cuomo of CNN January 7, 2014, Dennis Rodman insinuated that Christian missionary Kenneth Bae did something worth of imprisonment in North Korea.
Rodman said, “Kenneth Bae did one thing,” He added, “If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country? No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why? … I would love to speak on this.”
In an interview Terri Chung, Bae’s sister said that she was hoping the group of NBA players visiting North Korea would have aided in her brothers release. She added that Rodman’s statements regarding her brother were “outrageous accusations.”
Clearly Dennis has been drinking far too much Kool-Aid lately.
Taliba Shoots 14 Year Old Girl
Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was singled out and shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. Why? Because of her involvement with defending girl’s education and children’s rights amid the Swat Valley ear the Afghan border.
Malala survived surgery, but at last report was still unconscious.
Protests around Pakistan took place because of the the Taliban’s involvement with this shooting. A $100,000 reward has been posted for information leading to the arrest of Malala’s attackers.
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the Army Chief of Pakistan said the shooting was a by product of a “twisted ideology.” Bushra Gohar of the Awami National Party which oversees Swat and neighboring areas said, “The time to root out terrorism has come.”
Let’s hope that the criminals are brought to justice and all see the senselessness of what took place.