Anabaptists shaped the Slavic revival. The Sermon on the Mount encouraged endurance under Soviet persecution. But how does nonviolence work in a war? Ukrainian Baptists were once practical pacifists. Now locked in a vicious war of survival with invading Russian forces, many are on the front lines of battle. Leading voices call for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone. Pastors pray for soldiers; churches offer bread. What happened? It is not as straightforward as simple self-defense. But neither was their nonviolence, practiced by most Slavic evangelicals, a clear convictional principle. Forged in the fires of the Soviet Union, the then-second-largest…

His home looted by retreating soldiers, Ukrainian seminary president Ivan Rusyn describes the spiritual impact of Christians serving amid death and devastation. The atrocities are shocking. Ukrainian authorities have said 410 civilians were killed in the suburbs of Kyiv, discovered after the Russian army withdrew from its positions. At least two were found with their hands bound; several were shot in the head. Many bodies were burned. One resident said the occupiers were polite, and shared their meal rations. But others told of ransacked apartments; one was tied to a pole and beaten. Soldiers even shot a cyclist, who had…

From preparing food to making Molotov cocktails, Christian women contribute to resistance, while some fear the divide between those who stayed and those who fled. Of Ukraine’s more than 4 million refugees, 90 percent are women and children. Of the 6.5 million internally displaced Ukrainians, 54 percent are women. Men ages 18–60 are required to stay and resist the Russian invasion. And thus it is men who usually tell the public tales of war. Women are often kept to private forums such as their journals: 32 days of war. Fall asleep while checking the news on your phone. See nightmares…

“How much longer, Lord?” and “God, break the bones of my enemy” now equal hallelujahs as leaders ask for advocacy and assistance, lamenting the silence by Russian Christians. One month ago, Taras Dyatlik gathered in Moldova with friends and partners for another 10-day round of mundane seminary meetings. Serving as regional director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia for Overseas Council, he was a lynchpin for strategy and funding for a network of theological institutions in Ukraine and Russia. Three days later, he was desperately scrambling back to Kyiv. Dyatlik’s family—like much of Ukraine—was under Russian military fire. And the…

Carefully worded statement expresses solidarity with fellow believers and “bitterness and regret” over Russian “military invasion.” In the highest-profile statement yet of its kind, the leader of the Russian Evangelical Alliance has announced his “bitterness and regret” over decisions taken by his government. Will it be enough to rebuild bridges with fellow Ukrainian believers across the border? “I mourn what my country has done in its recent military invasion of another sovereign country, Ukraine,” stated REA general secretary Vitaly Vlasenko in a March 12 open letter. “In the worst-case scenario, I could not imagine what is now being observed.” His…

Churches in the “Wheaton of Ukraine,” a suburb of Kyiv, help residents escape war as one member gives his life trying to save a fleeing family. Anatoly, a 26-year-old member of Irpin Bible Church (IBC), is with the Lord. His last act on earth was to carry the suitcase of a young mother and her two children, hurrying them across Irpin’s collapsed bridge to safety from Russian shelling. All four died, when a bombshell landed in the middle of their would-be humanitarian corridor. Eight total died in the suburb of Kyiv yesterday, as Russian troops pressed hard to encircle the Ukrainian…

Allegations of tax fraud latest trial for Wesleyan pastor who has spoken out against Christian nationalism. The wounds from a friend may be faithful, but Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has not forgiven his former pastor for criticizing him and says he will not, ever. “He called me a fascist,” Orbán toldThe Atlantic in 2019. “And that is the only thing for which I cannot forgive him.” The years-long conflict between the nationalist political leader and Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship pastor Gábor Iványi led to a federal raid on Monday, amid allegations of “large-scale budgetary fraud.” The evangelical association, which employs…

Anthea Butler’s book isn’t for those who don’t like being challenged, but her account leaves out important nuance. The last several years have witnessed no small uptick in accessible academic books about evangelicals. Some of the most striking works have explored the political and racial history of the movement. This is evident in books like Jemar Tisby’s The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, John Fea’s Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, and Thomas Kidd’s Who is an Evangelical?: The History of a Movement in Crisis. Into this rich body of work…

Between 2016 and 2020, younger white evangelicals started to shift away from pro-life positions while older ones solidified their stances. Abortion holds a unique place in the realm of American public opinion. While views on issues like same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization have shifted dramatically over the last ten years, people tend to hold on to their positions on abortion. In my upcoming book, 20 Myths about Religion and Politics in America, I spend a chapter explaining how abortion opinion is basically unchanged over the last four decades. Evangelicals have been the religious group with the strongest views against abortion,…

The Cleveland Browns defensive end was good at sacking quarterbacks, but his real passion was witnessing for Christ. Bill Glass, a football player turned evangelist who pioneered evangelical sports ministry and prison ministry, died on December 5 at age 86. The six-foot-five, 250-pound defensive end had an impressive resume in professional football, with four Pro Bowl selections, a National Football League championship, and the Cleveland Browns team record for career sacks. But Glass would have pointed to a different set of metrics as far more consequential: In 2019, his evangelistic prison ministry, Bill Glass Behind The Walls, reported that up…

What exvangelicals teach us about our religious roots. Like many of my peers, I am a child of American evangelicalism. I was born to professing parents, made my own public statement of faith at five, and was baptized a few years later—still so tiny that my pastor had to lift me up to reach the microphone. My parents themselves were raised in the broader evangelical movement and shared many of the same religious rites of passage: baptism, communion, VBS, church camp, and eventually Christian college. My paternal grandparents were steady churchgoing people, while my maternal grandparents came to faith through…

Thomas Schirrmacher hopes to lead Christians into conversations, cooperation, and witness. The first thing you notice about Thomas Schirrmacher’s home are the books. Stuffed into shelves, stacked in piles, and even teetering on top of the toilet, they range from edited collections of Jewish history to works such as Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Schirrmacher is the recently elected secretary general and CEO of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). He is also the author of scores of books himself. Of note on Schirrmacher’s bookcases, however, is a title not written by him but in his honor: God…

Political tensions in the pews have calmed, and another survey shows leaders’ Trump support yielded more positives than negatives for evangelicals. Political polarization has subsided in most American churches a year after the 2020 presidential elections. But there are notable exceptions to that trajectory, and new research has found lingering effects of evangelical support for former president Donald Trump. The remnants of tension are evident at congregations such as Seattle’s Downtown Cornerstone Church, where pastor Adam Sinnett has been surprised “at how challenging it is to really cultivate unity amidst [our] political differences.” In the youthful, mobile, and tech-savvy church,…

Apocalyptic fiction writer Joel Rosenberg’s new book describes his behind-the-scenes interactions with crown princes and presidents in search of peace and religious freedom. Fans of Joel Rosenberg’s Middle East apocalyptic fiction can now read his real-time account of real-world peace. Through behind-the-scenes meetings with kings, princes, and presidents, the Jewish evangelical and New York Times bestselling author had an inside scoop on the Abraham Accords. For two years, he sat on it. His new nonfiction book, Enemies and Allies: An Unforgettable Journey inside the Fast-Moving & Immensely Turbulent Modern Middle East, released one year after the signing of the normalization…

A campaign to educate campuses about COVID-19 vaccination shifts from persuading the hesitant to making it easier for the willing. Last week, as President Joe Biden was announcing a new vaccine mandate for large workplaces, students at more than 100 Christian colleges were trying to persuade their communities to get the shot voluntarily. Since those between the ages of 18 and 29 are among the least likely to be hospitalized or to suffer serious illness or death due to COVID-19, swaths of young people didn’t get the shot as soon as it became available earlier in the year. Dozens of…

The Wheaton alumnus allegedly stopped paying his victim. Former US House Speaker and Wheaton College alumnus Dennis Hastert has settled a lawsuit over allegedly unpaid hush money. Hastert, once the highest-ranking evangelical in the Republican Party, was accused of failing to pay about half of the $3.5 million he promised in exchange for the silence of a man he sexually abused. The trial would have raised the unusual legal question of whether a verbal agreement to pay hush money to the victim of sexual abuse is legally binding. Details of the settlement appear to be covered by nondisclosure agreements. According…

InterVarsity study of Christians at secular schools shows most feel welcome and want to “pursue the common good together.” Christian college students heading back to school this fall are expecting to talk to their nonevangelical classmates about race, racism, and racial justice. According to a recent InterVarsity Christian Fellowship survey of 316 evangelical students enrolled at 127 secular colleges and universities, they’re ready. The Christian students rank racism and inequality as a top social concern. Asked to name the three most important issues today, nearly 40 percent said racial justice, about 40 percent said poverty, and another 29 percent named…

Standing with indigenous people, leaders are also calling for a deeper look into US residential schools. The Evangelical Covenant Church became the latest Protestant denomination in the United States to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, the theological justification that allowed the discovery and domination by European Christians of lands already inhabited by indigenous peoples. Delegates at the Covenant Annual Connection voted overwhelmingly (84%) on Friday to approve a resolution acknowledging the damage done to indigenous peoples in the Americas by taking their land and rights and lamenting the church’s complicity in the continuing effects of that history. “After 125 years,…

Is the label ‘evangelical’ sustainable for Christians in our post-everything world? I became a Christian at the age of 20, while doing my honors work in philosophy at the University of Michigan. Up until that point, I was an atheist, being raised by atheists. My childhood home had a sign declaring, “The Moore’s, The Atheists,” and a barrel for Bible burning—seriously. That’s why when I converted to Christianity, I had nearly zero history with organized religion and was utterly unfamiliar with a great many terms and labels that came with my conversion. One of the most important labels I inherited…

Popular artist professed Jesus and earned five gospel Grammys before turning back to secular music. Christian celebrity didn’t sit well with B. J. Thomas. The famous singer of “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” and “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” personally loved Jesus. It was Christ’s followers that were the problem. Thomas, who died May 29 at age 78, had a spiritual awakening in 1976. After his born-again experience, the pop and country singer with 15 singles in the Top 40 charts got off drugs and reunited with his wife, Gloria. He put out a…

Johnnie Moore, an outgoing USCIRF commissioner, spoke up to ask governments to stop ignoring Chinese treatment of Uighur Muslims, Christians, and Tibetan Buddhists. Johnnie Moore called China’s recent decision to bar him from entering the country a “publicity stunt” and a sign that Americans’ continued advocacy on behalf of religious minorities is having an effect. After concluding his second term serving on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) earlier this month, the evangelical leader was sanctioned by the Chinese government Wednesday for his outspoken criticism toward what he deemed “the world’s foremost violator of human rights and religious…