The death of 46 people which occurred in Odessa, Ukraine this past Friday as a result of conflicts between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian groups served only to widen the gap of hatred, fear and resentment that has been growing steadily over the past few months.
In the video above I share a little overview of what happened in Odessa on May 2nd. If you want to read a more detailed description of the events that led to the death of 46 people check out this story.
This isn’t victory yet.
Many Ukrainians celebrated their victory far too early when former president Victor Yanukovych was removed from office by Ukrainian parliament on February 22nd.
I wrote about this just a few days later in a post titled “This isn’t Victory Yet, a Call for Reconciliation in Ukraine”
In that post I wrote:
But is this victory? Not by a long shot!
Yes, there have been some major changes over the past week but now Ukraine has more against it than ever before.
- The people are in mourning.
- The government is broken and struggling to rebuild.
- Kyiv is in shambles.
- The country’s treasuries are empty.
- Many harbor hatred and disdain for whoever is on the opposite side of the political fence.
- Eastern and Southern areas of the country continue to support the former president’s party.
Unfortunately that prediction has turned out to be true!
It’s not about the language
To be honest no one is really fighting over the differences between Russian and Ukrainian languages. Most of the pro-Ukrainians who were preparing to march for the unity of Ukraine on Friday were probably native Russian speakers. At the most the difference in languages was just used as a pretense.
The problem is fear, anger and resentment
If you watch my video above you will see a man in the city of Donetsk angrily push over a full size cross at a public prayer meeting and then headbutt the pastor who was leading it.
He says to those praying “We will not forgive you for what happened in Odessa!”
Where there is no forgiveness there will always be bitterness and anger.
Where there is not reconciliation there will always be resentment and a desire for revenge.
The only thing that can truly end the violence
As long as fear, anger and the desire for revenge remains in the hearts of individual Ukrainians there will be violence in Ukraine and no matter how strong your army is or how powerful of a leader you send there will be no true peace.
What will end the violence is forgiveness!
When Ukrainians find forgiveness they will give forgiveness and there will be peace.
How to pray
Please pray for reconciliation between the pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian groups in Ukraine.
Pray also that churches in Ukraine would be shining examples of what true forgiveness and reconciliation with God looks like!
Pray that amidst the turmoil of war individual Ukrainians would find the peace of Jesus!