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The top-ranking Ukrainian Catholic cleric in the United States warned Thursday that religious minorities in the Eastern European country stand to be “crushed” if Moscow gains control, as fighting raged on more than a month after the Russian invasion began.

An ancient tablet discovered near the Palestinian city of Nablus may contain the earliest known mention of God’s name in proto-alphabetic Hebrew. Scott Stripling, director of the Archaeological Studies Institute at The Bible Seminary in Katy, Texas, announced the discovery of the lead tablet Thursday.

Allegations that two evangelical pastors have used their influence with Brazil’s Education Ministry to steer federal funding to friends — and in at least one case seek a bribe — are causing a new election-year controversy for the government of President Jair Bolsonaro.

Across Europe, Ukrainians gathered for church services on Sunday to pray for peace in their war-torn country. Newly arrived refugees mingled with long-time members of Europe’s 1.5 million-strong Ukrainian diaspora at houses of worship all over the continent from Germany to Romania to Moldova.

The response of Catholic moral theologians to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been universally negative. Where Catholic moralists begin to disagree is on what means are appropriate in responding to the invasion.

More than 275 Russian Orthodox priests and deacons from around the world have signed an open letter expressing their opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, challenging the Russian government and breaking with the tacit support of the military action by church leadership in Moscow. 

Kyiv, bracing for a potentially catastrophic Russian attack, is the spiritual heart of Ukraine. Among the sites at risk in the Ukrainian capital are the nation’s most sacred Orthodox shrines, dating back nearly 1,000 years to the dawn of Christianity in the region.

Baptist churches and missionaries in Poland have jumped in to help assist refugees from neighboring Ukraine fleeing the attacks from Russia. Some of those the Baptists have met coming out of Ukraine include Ukrainians the Polish Baptists met during summer camps in previous years.

In this issue of A Public Witness, we listen to numerous calls for prayer from Christian leaders, denominations, and parachurch organizations. And we meditate on what it means to prophetically pray for peace instead of uttering generic calls that coddle the ones who broke the peace.

Metropolitan Epiphanius I of Ukraine, leader of the independent Orthodox Christian Church based in Kyiv, celebrated Ukrainians’ defense of his country against Russian invaders on Sunday while likening Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Antichrist and deriding the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.