More than 120 religious and public figures, experts, politicians, and philanthropists from Ukraine, the United States, Moldova, and Poland gathered to analyze the causes and consequences of Russian aggression, discuss the current challenges faced by Ukraine, and consolidate efforts to overcome the humanitarian crisis and provide assistance to suffering Ukrainians and religious communities.
An international consultation on this topic was held on November 10-11, 2022 in Nashville, USA, on the initiative of the Christian organization "Mission Eurasia".
Institute for Religious Freedom board chairman Oleksandr Zaiets presented the results of the IRF study on the impact of Russian aggression on religious communities in Ukraine and brutal attacks on Ukrainian religious figures, especially in the territories occupied by Russia to the participants of the event.
The head of the IRF also presented monitoring data and primary conclusions of the report "Russian attacks on religious freedom in Ukraine" which the IRF presented in September of this year.
President of "Mission Eurasia" Sergey Rakhuba stressed that this international consultation is a strategic event that has and will continue to influence the dynamics of providing assistance to Ukrainian churches, refugee centers in Poland and Moldova, and many people in need.
A large delegation from Ukraine arrived to the United States to participate in this event. Among the religious figures were the leaders of the All-Ukrainian Union of the Churches of Evangelical Christians-Baptists – pastors Valerii Antonyuk and Igor Bandura, first deputy senior bishop of the Ukrainian Pentecostal Church Anatoliy Kozachok, Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Yevstratiy (Zoria), assistant bishop of the Kyiv-Zhytomyr Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine Oleksandr Yazlovetskiy and pastor of the "Grace" Baptist Church in Melitopol of Zaporizhzhia region Mykhailo Brytsyn.
The people's deputy of Ukraine Maryan Zablotskyy, the Mayor of Irpin Oleksandr Markushyn, people's deputy of Ukraine of the 6th and 8th convocations Pavlo Unguryan also took part in the international consultation.
International participants in the consultation were Dr. John Bernbaum (Calvin University), Dr. Mark Elliot, Dr. Richard Sherman (Seattle Pacific University), member of the Moldovan parliament Valery Giletsky, international director of "Schools Without Walls" Olexandr Belev, director of the Ministry "Mission Eurasia" in Poland pastor Don Parsons, director of the Mission Eurasia network of Christian educational resources Raymond le Clair, as well as other leaders of churches and missions, charitable foundations, and public initiatives.
The international consultation resulted in the signing of a Declaration of Christian Solidarity in helping people persecuted for their beliefs and in charity through humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine suffering from war.
The IRF presented its research to the participants of the meeting thanks to the support of PAX, a peacebuilding organization from the Netherlands, within the framework of the project "Peace building and conflict monitoring in war-torn Ukraine."