Ukraine war protest

Should Christians Continue Supporting Ukraine?

7 November 2022

3.1 MINS

If Ukraine is unwilling to engage in talks with Russia that can de-escalate the war, allies cannot support this path of destruction.

I was born in Soviet-occupied Budapest.

But I grew up in the West, where older Hungarian migrants told me about the atrocities carried out by Russian forces on my home turf — whether the brutal crushing of the Hungarian Uprising in 1956 or the far-reaching oppression of the Soviet-backed Communist government.

And so, I have a deep-seated, visceral reaction to Russian military aggression.

Few things have angered me more this year than the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and few things warm my Hungarian heart than hearing about Russian military defeats on the battlefield. It’s been inspiring to watch Ukraine holding its own against the third-largest military in the world. All this, of course, with intense NATO and Western help (including from Australia).

More importantly, as a Christian, I believe Western nations should help Ukraine defend itself.

And yet.

I’ve come across information that’s giving me pause about how we support Ukraine. Yes, let’s keep supporting Ukraine, but it should come with strings attached.

Here’s why:

1) The aim of war-fighting should be a ‘just’ peace rather than unnecessary escalation, especially when nuclear weapons are involved

There are legitimate reasons from a Biblical perspective for a nation to wage war.

But the aim of war-fighting should be limited to upholding or restoring justice: never fighting for fighting’s sake.

This is because war is so destructive: it involves the shedding of the blood of combatants and often non-combatants. Thus, a just use of force will always shy away from unnecessary fighting. And this includes unnecessarily escalating the war. [1]

Especially when the war threatens to go nuclear.

 2) Zelensky has potentially closed off an avenue to peace by saying he would never negotiate with Putin. And that makes peace less likely, and escalation (even nuclear escalation) more likely.

And this is where it gets tricky in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

While Russia (i.e. Putin) has been the aggressor, both sides in the conflict (as in any conflict) have a responsibility to wage war justly. And this includes refraining from unnecessary escalation. Of course, Putin is escalating the war with his call-up of reservists – and even threatening nuclear retaliation[2]

But Zelensky has done and said things recently that could lead to unnecessary and potentially dangerous escalation.

While it hasn’t been widely reported in our mainstream media, Zelensky has recently signed a law that rules out peace talks with Putin:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seemingly shut the door on the prospect of having any peace talks with Vladimir Putin — but not with Russia under a different leadership.

Zelensky signed a decree on Tuesday formally declaring negotiations with the Kremlin autocrat to be “impossible.” … we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia,” Zelensky said on Friday.

You don’t need a PhD in International Relations to see why this is concerning:

If he’s closed to negotiations with Putin, he’s shut off the main avenue to a negotiated peace.

Secondly, according to US Intelligence, Ukraine authorised the assassination of the daughter of one of Putin’s close allies — on Russian soil:

US intelligence believes a bomb attack that killed a Russian commentator and journalist outside Moscow in August was authorised by Ukrainian government officials… the US had no prior knowledge, provided no intelligence or other assistance, would have opposed it and “admonished” Ukrainian officials about it afterwards.

In other words, Ukraine has unnecessarily taken an action that risks escalating the war.

So how might we respond as Christians?

I believe we should be helping Ukraine defend itself.

But it should be conditional support based on fighting war justly, without unnecessary escalation. And keeping the door to peace — in this case, a negotiated peace — wide open.  We should be careful about promising Ukraine blank cheque ‘for as long as it takes’ type support to defeat Russia, as President Joe Biden has said.

Instead, Christian citizens of Western Nations should encourage our governments to give Ukraine conditional support to defend itself and secure a just peace rather than provoke any unnecessary escalation.

Especially when escalation could be catastrophic not just for Ukraine, but potentially the whole world.


[1] There may be times when it is necessary to escalate a war, e.g. when we find out that atrocities are committed by the other side or will be committed if we don’t intervene.

[2] While many pundits are gravely concerned about the possibility of nuclear escalation, there is reason to believe that it’s not in Putin’s interest to use nuclear weapons, and he knows it, i.e. he’s merely bluffing. Listen to this fascinating conversation between General H.R. McMaster and Russian Opposition politician Vladimir Milov for this view.


Originally published at Photo by Katie Godowski.

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  1. Chris 9 November 2022 at 6:13 am - Reply

    Hi Akos,

    How can Ukraine secure a peace deal with Russia that does not reward Russia for invading Ukraine, and give China a green light to move on Taiwan?

  2. Lara Wieland 14 September 2023 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    I am a Christian doctor and I have not long come back from Ukraine. Putin will never negotiate peace that doesn’t involve occupation. When you see what the occupation forces have done you will understand why that door is shut. 9 year old children raped and killed as one example. Should we have negotiated with Hitler and let him have some of his concentration camps? Go and live under Russian occupation and then tell Christians who they should support.

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