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Don’t Be Ignorant of Evil

Proverbs 22:3 says that “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

Ignorance is not only physically dangerous, it also has spiritual pitfalls. Ephesians 4:18 says, “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”

Ignorance is the exact danger faced by the Russian people in light of the Ukrainian invasion. A Slavic media expert now based in the United States stated that many Russian people remain ignorant of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

As he put it: “On one side, they're the victims of the propaganda. But on the other side, it's their decision to trust the propaganda and to deny even not just the alternative Information, but even the fact that alternative information exists.” [1]

While comparisons with the Nazis are overused, in this situation, it is not unfair to say that the Russian people ought to think carefully about their own potential complicity in Putin’s violence, lest they be remembered like the German people who claimed ignorance of Hitler’s concentration camps.

As one Guardian article put it: “Conventional wisdom among post war historians has been that - as Lord Dahrendorf, ex-warden of St Antony's College, Oxford, says in his study Society and Democracy in Germany (1966) – ‘It is certainly true that most Germans 'did not know' about National Socialist crimes of violence; nothing precise, that is, because they did not ask any questions.’” [2]

The Russian people should not stay silent or ignore information about the war in Ukraine, especially in a nation where almost 60% of the population identifies as Eastern Orthodox Christians. [4]

Fortunately, a brave few have risen up in protest. Unfortunately, they have paid a high price, as one article reported: “One woman stood quietly just a few meters from a corner of the Kremlin with a paper sign reading ‘No to war.’ She lasted just a few minutes before riot police trundled her off to a waiting van.” [3]

As sad as these stories are, God promises in James 1:12 that Christians will be rewarded for our adherence to the truth: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

In the United States, Christians ought to do everything in our power to support not only Ukrainians but also Russian expatriates, many of whom are fleeing now that the police are cracking down on those who dare to protest Putin’s war. CNN reported on the dire situation that such dissidents face:

“New legislation was passed in Russia in early March that can send people to prison for up to 15 years for posting or sharing information about the war that the authorities deem to be false.” [5]

Nonetheless, these odds should not discourage Christians across the globe. No matter what ultimately happens in Ukraine, God is in control. As we are promised in Romans 8:38-39, good will ultimately prevail.

“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


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