For Immediate Release
October 4, 2022
CONTACT: Clem Boyd
FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE – According to the BBC, more than 11,000 Ukrainians have died as a direct result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and more than 16 million have been displaced (no longer in their homes and communities but still living within the borders of Ukraine) or have become refugees (in countries outside Ukraine’s borders) in the last six months. Millions of these are children.
They are now part of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.
With all this devastation, it’s hard to fathom how much more destruction of life and property will result from Russian President’s mobilization of 300,000 troops, twice the size of the force deployed in February.
What can the church and global community do? That is the question delegates representing Christian ministries, international humanitarian and relief ministries, U.S. and Ukrainian politicians, media representatives, and humanitarian observers will grapple with during the Nashville Consultation on Ukraine on Thursday, November 10 and Friday, November 11, at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs Conference Center, 700 Cool Springs Blvd., Franklin, Tennessee.
Nashville resident Sergey Rakhuba is coordinating the consultation. Rakhuba is president of Mission Eurasia, a Franklin-based humanitarian aid and Christian mission organization planting churches in the former Soviet Union. He was born in Ukraine, grew up in Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine, and lived in Russia for many years.
Mission Eurasia was one of the first humanitarian aid organizations on the spot in Kharkiv province on September 14, only 48 hours after the Russian occupying force withdrew.
Top national church leaders from all Christian traditions and government members from Ukraine will present firsthand reports from the war zone and include insights on the Russian worldview and how it’s driving the current war against Ukraine and the West.
Other topics will include how Christians should react to Ukraine’s humanitarian needs, threats to religious freedom and human rights in occupied territories, and more. The day will also include a panel discussion with church and political leaders from Ukraine, Moldova, Poland and experts on international and humanitarian from the U.S.
The following leaders from Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, and the U.S. will participate in the consultation on November 10-11:
- John Bernbaum, senior scholar at the Paul Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin University. He is the former president of the Russian-American Christian University and has expertise in Russian-Ukrainian-U.S. relations
- Valeriy Antonyuk, president of the Baptist Union of Ukraine
- Archbishop Yevstratiy, head of the department of international affairs for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
- Alexander Markushin, mayor of the city of Irpin, Ukraine.
- Reverend Igor Bandura, vice president of international affairs for the Baptist Union of Ukraine
- Archpriest Oleksa Petriv, head of international affairs for the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
- Reverend Dr. Valeriy Giletskiy, former candidate for president of Moldova and member of the European Parliament
- Reverend Mikhail Britsyn, pastor of Grace Evangelical Baptist Church in Melitopol, Ukraine, recently arrested by Russian forces and deported to the unoccupied territory of Ukraine.
- Oleksander Zaiets, president of the Institute for Religious Freedom, Kyiv, Ukraine
- Yuri Kulakevich, director of international affairs, Pentecostal Church of Ukraine
- Svitoslav Yurash, member of the international affairs committee of the Ukrainian Parliament, youngest member of the Ukrainian Parliament and voice of the next generation in the midst of the crisis.
- Mark Elliott, retired professor of European and Russian history, expert on East-West church relations, editor emeritus of East-West Church and Ministry Report.
- Sergey Rakhuba, president of Mission Eurasia, leading strategist and missiologist on the relationship between missions and the church with a focus on Eurasia.
- Denis Gorenkov, executive director of Mission Eurasia Field Ministries, overseeing all of Mission Eurasia’s humanitarian efforts in response to the war.
The Nashville Consultation on Ukraine will also offer a resolution calling on the global Christian community and humanitarian agencies to acknowledge what is happening in Ukraine and will include a practical response to support the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian church in their struggle to defend their freedoms.
The consultation is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so please register by October 17 with Caleb Condon, special projects coordinator, Mission Eurasia, at email@example.com or call 615.435.3720.
The consultation will take place from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. November 10-11, including plenary sessions, breakout sessions, panel discussions, coffee breaks, and lunch both days.
Guests are recommended to book hotel rooms in the Franklin, Tennessee area the night before the start of the consultation. Mission Eurasia is prebooking a limited number of rooms at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, but other hotel rooms are also available in the area. For more information, please contact Caleb Condon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To schedule an interview with Sergey Rakhuba, president of Mission Eurasia, please contact Clem Boyd, Director of Public Relations at 724.930.4003.