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Ukrainian-Americans Worship God Despite War

New York City has the largest Ukrainian population in the United States, a community of about 150,000. Thousands had come to the United States as Christian refugees, most of them Baptist or Pentecostal, under a special asylum for those fleeing Soviet religious persecution.

As President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert, some took to the streets to join the protests against Putin’s aggression. But mostly, these followers of Jesus gathered in the churches to pray, weep, lament, and sing to God. They called their praise songs “weapons of war.”

As the nuclear threat escalated tensions, people in the service were in disbelief about how quickly the situation had spiraled. One church leader told Christianity Today, “Our minds fail to understand: How is this possible in this day and age? God allowed this to happen, and we do not know why. But we know God is sovereign, and he is on his throne. There are people who think if they kill someone it will accomplish a goal.”

A worship leader said, “Our hope is in the Lord, the one who holds things together. No matter how things fall apart, the Lord created this world, and he holds things in his hands.” He played music and led worship in tears. But he also told his church family, “Even if a nuclear attack happens, the hope we have is we go home. And we will be together with Jesus, the one we know will help us.”

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