The incredible happened: Europe in war - again. After fifty years of peace what seemed impossible in the minds of most European citizens is taking place again. Without a UN mandate NATO forces are carrying out air strikes against a sovereign state, the left over of the former so powerful nation of Yugoslavia.
On a first glance this outbreak of violence against the serbian people appears to be justified. The news agencies are reporting of massacres, ethnic cleansing and war against civilian Albanians thus the Serbs are just getting what they deserve. However one should keep in mind that the war of Yugoslavia is a not a war against defenceless civilians but a guerrilla war against an Islamic terrorist organisation KLA. The former Israeli Kneset member Elyakim Haetzni therefore compared the media coverage on Yugoslavia similar one-sided like the coverage on Israel.
Whether the strikes on Serbia are justified or not the whole scenario on the Balkan is something which should cause our attention as believers. As the Gulfwar already showed, a new phenomenon is on the rise. Under an umbrella which was heralded by former US President George Bush as "New world order", armed conflicts are carried out in the name of the "Wold Comunity" on countries which are not fitting into a certain pattern of interests. Large scaled military interventions are carried out now for the second time by the armed forces of a considerably large community of nations, which sees it self as defenders and enforces of western interests and by that as the world police. That the interests in Kosovo are not purely humanitarian character is obvious, since in conflicts which are much more bloody and cruelsome nobody felt responsible to intervene. There were no bombs to stop the genocide in Rwanda where one million people had to die in the fightings between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. There are no cruise missiles in Sudan to fight the systematic wiping out of Christian communities carried out by an Islamic regime which cost the lives of hundreds of thousands. The still unbroken dependence on rude oil from the Arabian states seems to literally shut not just the mouths of weapons but even the mouth of most world leaders to speak out against the most outrageous persecution of Christians in Saudi Arabia or the discrimination of the Coptic and other churches in Egypt.
But what has all this to do with Israel? There are quite a few parallels which can be found in the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the conflict in Kosovo. It is quite remarkable that a Christian alliance in the war against Serbia is forcefully supporting an Islamic terrorist Army which is financed by drug money and supported in large by fundamentalist Moslem groups. Serbia itself is a country which possesses a long Christian history and was for centuries considered as the pugnacious gate of Europe defending against the osmanic threat of Islam. The Kosovo is the heart land of these people and contains most of the historic and religious traditions for the Serbian people. The Israeli television referred to the Kosovo province in a recent report as the Jerusalem of the Serbs. Now this heartland of Slavic Christianity should become a Moslem state. A thought which is causing great discomfort to the eyes of most Serbs.
Even though I don't want to compare the aggression which is carried out by Serbian units toward the Albanian people with the Israeli-Palestian relation, the basic ingredients of the conflict however are similar. A nation which is striving, like Israel, for its heart land where it sees its religious tradition rooted, is in danger to be taken over by a Islamic nation. The western values of democracy and independence seems to justify an armed intervention to guarantee the self-rule of the Albanian Moslems. According to the Prophet Zechariah Israel will face a similar threat in the last days:
Zec 14:2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle.
Until recently it
was not really foreseeable how this prophecy in Zec.14 could be fulfilled.
It was difficult to imagine a contingent of international armed forces
flooding over Israel and to fight against Jerusalem. However the scenario
in Kosovo appears to be like a rehearsal of what will finally happen in
Israel. Only recently the European Community under the current German presidency
made it clear that Europe will not accept the official Israeli policy of
choosing Jerusalem as its own capital but that Jerusalem should have rather
an international status under the rule of some kind of international council.
It might be this refusal of Israel to give in on the status of Jerusalem
to the claims of the Palestinians, the Vatican and Europe which could cause
a similar multinational intervention to be directed against Israel and
Jerusalem. Interestingly it was this reason of Israel being the next victim
of a similar aggression which caused Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon
to fall short in fully supporting the US lead air strikes against Yugoslavia
during his visit in Washington few days ago.
A call for prayer
Besides the above implications the whole Kosovo crisis is a situation which needs the intercession from the body of Messiah. War is always causing human tragedy and we are in particular responsible to pray for our brothers and sisters in Messiah which are living in that region. Below are some points which should help us to intercede effectively on behalf of that situation..
1.. Pray for the hundreds of thousand of Albanian refugees which are flocked under extremely hard circumstances in Albania, Macedonia and within Yugoslavia. Pray in particular that God can use Christian help organisations to bring the Gospel and Gods love to the Albanian refugees which are mostly Moslem.
2.. Pray that peace is coming to that whole region. The Balkan has a history of hundreds of years of bloodshed and hatred. There were hundreds of years of occupation by the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire, WWI was triggered from Yugoslavia, it was invaded by the Germans in WWII which resulted in gross bloodshed and hatred between the different people groups on the Balkan. Pray that God will rise a godly army of prayer warriors that will bring peace to the land and revival to the churches.
3.. Pray for the churches in Yugoslavia. Most believers are feeling that injustice is done to their country. Pray that no bitterness will rise in their hearts. However in this time of trouble God is using the congregations within Yugoslavia to be a tower and shelter of salvation. (see the report below). Pray that they will be used even more as a blessing for their nation.
4.. Pray for the
protection of the believers which were drafted into the army in the recent
weeks. Pray that the lives and the whole households of the believers are
protected during this time of War.
Below are some excerpts of testimonies from local churches in Yugoslavia.
" ..Yesterday, Easter Monday, in the Churches we had few people trust the Lord as their personal Saviour! It was touching as they clearly and loudly gave their testimony in public and were given the hand of fellowship by the Church. Other two returned from backsliding from the Lord. The whole Church was giving thanks to the Lord for His evident saving power. One of the converts, the young lady said, she was not even afraid of the bombs anymore, as God is her protector now! What an encouragement for everybody! Pray for continuous strength in evangelism. Pray for the wisdom concerning the continuity of Bible School ministry."
" ...Today, the number of children increased in visiting our KES Centre Children ministry. As you know the children are out of school indefinitely as some 220 schools have been damaged and bombed. The alert sirens sounded like a class bell... the little eyes filled with terror and trembling. Though our building is not pretending to be the shelter, it is a shelter in a sense. It brings children close to God and Jesus who loves the little children. Children are ministered to with the Word, song and play and then go home, encouraged, back to their families. These are the most difficult times in their young lives and their memory and lives will be affected forever. At the same time they will remember forever that Jesus is their shelter and refuge in the time of danger..."
" ..As the Sunday
approaches there will be prepared and preached the messages of encouragement
to the evangelical congregations throughout the Yugoslavia. The churches
are full. Pray that they will communicate the loving care of our mighty
God. So far the evangelical Christians have kept spotless their testimony
to God's saving and sustaining grace. They have
" ....As I already wrote to some of You on last weekend four people accepted Jesus as their personally Saviour. Two of them are couple, our neighbours in their forties, who now so exited about Jesus, they do witness to many of their fiends. We are praying for salvation of their single son and married daughter. We have similar news from different churches. Well, this is like God turns bad situation into victories. To His Name be the glory."
More information about churches in Yugoslavia can be found on