The world is riveted to the barbaric atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists against Israelis, most notably, precious children and infants. Try as we might, we cannot erase the images from the media, seared on our minds.
Witnesses in Israel liken the brutality to stories they have heard about the Holocaust. An evil the world pledged would never happen again is unfolding on our screens. The blurred bodies of broken children are the sanitized versions.
A father from an Israeli Kibbutz told CNN that he was relieved to learn that his precious little girl, Emily, was murdered by Hamas rather than being kidnapped and tortured.
Hamas is evil, a terrorist organization, and there is nothing that justifies what they have done in Israel. The horror and the brutality is without excuse. We should pray that Hamas is brought to justice and the sinful ideology beneath Hamas is fully eradicated from the world.
Lost in the horror of Israel is the ongoing evil carried out by Russia on thousands of Ukrainian children.
The. number of kidnapped Ukrainian children by Russia is beyond the pale.
The mass deportation of children stands out as one of the clearest crimes against humanity committed by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. The International Criminal Court issued a warrant against President Putin over his alleged role in the mass abduction of Ukrainian children.
And Russia makes no effort to conceal or downplay their practise. In fact, Russia regularly updates statistics on the number of kidnapped children. But the Russians don’t call it kidnapping. The Russian government prefers to think of their actions as “re-education.”
Russia announced that it had “moved” 700,000 children and teenagers since invading Ukraine in 2014, although the crime was not highly publicized until the full-scale invasion in February 2022. Since then, the Ukrainian government has recorded 20,000 kidnapped Ukrainian children. Only 400 have been restored to their families and all have reported some form of mental and physical abuse.
A Massive Undertaking
A February 2023 report published by the Yale School of Public Health identified a large-scale Russian initiative via a network of more than 40 camps and facilities stretching from Russian-occupied Crimea to Siberia. “This is not one rogue camp, this is not one rogue mayor or governor,” said Yale Humanitarian Research Lab executive director Nathaniel Raymond. “This is a massive logistical undertaking that does not happen by accident.”
How are Ukrainian parents responding?
Oksana Galkina is a Ukrainian mom. The Russians kidnapped her 16-year-old daughter. In the company of a dozen other parents and legal guardians of kidnapped children, Oksana went through the European Union, to Russia, and then into the Russian-occupied southern territories of Ukraine, finally returning back home.
Veronika Melkozerova, writer for Politico, was an eyewitness to Oksana’s joy. “In the yard of a local church in Kyiv, a gray minivan arrives, brandishing the sign “Evacuation. Children.” The doors are flung open and out jumps a fiery-haired woman in her 40s.
“I got her! I finally brought my Liza back,” she screams happily to the volunteers of Save Ukraine, the NGO that assisted her in rescuing Liza.
A single good news story amidst the heartache of thousands of anguished parents.
The Children of the World
Israeli children. Palestinian children. Ukrainian children.
Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Many of us sang that chorus as a kid in church. Red and yellow, black and white they are precious in God’s sight.
What can you do? Hug your kids today. Let them feel that they are your treasures. Assure them of their safety, love, and purpose. Are you an aunt or uncle? Grandparent? Teacher? Coach? Make a good difference in the life of a child this week.
You can support work with children in Ukraine and Loads of Love.
Please join the conversation and post a comment below. Thank you.
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