4/6/2022 – The Ukraine war and Bulgarian perspectives

From Elisabeth Cary (MTW missionary in Sofia, Bulgaria): Bulgaria has seen a relatively smaller number of refugees from Ukraine than other European countries. While having a number of counties between Ukraine and Bulgaria, which plays a role in the number of people arriving, Bulgaria is the poorest EU country, which limits opportunities Ukrainians would have here. To this point, almost half of those who have come into Bulgaria from Ukraine have gone on to other countries in western Europe. I have heard stories from friends who have family fleeing Ukraine–stories of driving through Romania to the border to pick up friends, a mother-in-law, etc.

In terms of political leanings, Bulgaria seems to be divided in how this war is viewed. While I haven’t heard any support for war, there are those who are pro-Russia and aren’t convinced that Ukraine, or at least some of the parts of Ukraine, should go to Russia. To many in Bulgaria, a strong central government is a positive thing that gives a country stability. So there are those who are not supporters of Putin, per say, but are proponents of a strong central government as they see Russia having. This division is not only among the general public, but also exists in the church and has led to disunity and even churches splitting (probably more like the final straw, since COVID has caused so many disagreements in the past two years).

Personally, I am grieved by the loss of life, the confusion and widespread misinformation leading to violence and broken relationships among families, friends, and even among our brothers and sisters in the Church. I have been driven to prayer more regularly, praying for God to rescue those who are at risk, to cause hard hearts to soften and repent of evil, to grow His church, and to grant His people faithfulness in the face of tragedy, conflict, and fear.

4 responses to “4/6/2022 – The Ukraine war and Bulgarian perspectives”

  1. Northwoods Presbyterian Church, USA is praying for peace in Ukraine and for the safety and encouragement of our Christian brothers and sisters. 💙💛

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  2. I appreciate you sharing about how this is affecting the churches. I hadn’t understood that aspect and will pray about it. I agree the past two years have been incredibly hard on the Church. It is a good reminder about how important it is to be praying for unity among believers. I am also praying that in the face of such heartbreak people will draw near to the Lord and that their hearts will not be hardened. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:18-19

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  3. These issues, differences of opinion on the role of a central government and on how to handle COVID, are here in the USA as you well know. I’m praying Christians in all nations can put away these differences and love each other as Christ expects of us.

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