Russian troops have moved into Ukraine with reports of loud explosions at the country's border as well as in the capital Kyiv.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is condemning the attack and says that Russian President Vladimir Putin should immediately withdraw all military forces from the country.

“Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia's egregious attack on Ukraine,” Trudeau says in a statement late Wednesday.

“These unprovoked actions are a clear further violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. They are also in violation of Russia's obligations under international law and the Charter of the United Nations.”

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Pressure on churches

Joel Griffith with the Slavic Gospel Association talks about churches in the Donbas region, already occupied by Russian-backed forces since 2014.

“The Separatist leaders in that area began putting some pressure on evangelical churches. They required them to re-register but then, in essence, did not allow them to do so. I know that some pastors over there had been on the receiving end of threats.”

In case of an invasion, other churches in Ukraine could face similar circumstances. But Griffith says SGA partners in Russia and Ukraine long for peace and reconciliation.

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Central European nations are preparing for millions of refugees should Russia actually conduct a full-scale invasion.

SGA is preparing to care for these people. Griffith says, “I know that our leadership here has been in discussions with the church leaders there. I understand that they’ve already seen some refugee situations break out in some parts of southern Russia and in other parts of Ukraine.”

”We’re talking with them right now, figuring out how to best minister to these families if [the situation] continues to uptick.”

Pray for peace in Ukraine. Local churches continue providing food to those in need and sharing the Gospel.


With files from The Canadian Press. The second half of this story was written by Kevin Zeller, and originally appeared at Mission Network News and is republished here with permission.