Friends, brothers, sisters,
The latest news out of the Ukraine is nothing short of disturbing: a floundering government in Kiev and armed incursion in the Crimea by mercenaries are just the latest signs that Europe is once again standing on a precipice. I understand from my studies and own experience that feeling and tension on both sides is high and exacerbated by long-standing grievances and crimes by anyone's estimation. And yet I feel that I must write this post, overlooked and ignored though it may be, to plead for peace.
Why must both sides continually bicker over territory and the blood that flows in one's veins? Are these the sole factors that determine one's fate and identity? Are you both so deeply entrenched that the only way to settle the issues is to end up fighting one another? Because from where I sit it very well looks like you both seem to feel this way. WHY???
The questions that nobody seems to be asking are twofold: one, why must it be Europe or Russia? Why can't Ukraine decide her own destiny without being bullied or badgered by one side or another? The other is the one that is most crucial, so I ask, here and now, to both Ukraine and Russia, as a fellow Christian:
WHICH MATTERS MORE, BLOOD OR FAITH?
Face it, those you might see as your adversaries are not only your fellow man, who Christ calls to love and forgive and show grace to, but they are also mainly your Brothers in Christ. You both worship the same God, you both pray to the same kinds of saints and angels, you both follow more or less the same rituals, you both read the same Holy Scripture...I could go on and on. So why are you so ready to shed your brother's blood? Will you be a modern Cain, slaying your brother or neighbor Abel? Is land and blood more important than salvation and shared faith? Can there be no recourse but to war over things that matter nothing when one stands before God?
If blood runs thicker than the current of your faith, then you both deserve what happens. But if faith is stronger than blood, if love and grace are stronger than hate and bitterness, then perhaps we as a world can avoid a conflagration which would do little than to set brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, destroy what so many have endeavored to build, to tear sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, apart and to destroy the lives of children and the helpless. You would do nothing more than to scar your own souls and cause Christ to weep. If you truly love your countries, your families, your neighbors, your faith and your God, then by all that is Holy, do not let the Night take hold and the unholy fire ignite. Go with God, друзья.