Yugoslavian Baptists issue call for prayer amidst crisis

Sunday, September 1, 2002

By Staff

WASHINGTON (BP)--Baptists in Yugoslavia have asked for urgent prayers for their country caught in the grip of political crisis as opposition forces try to force President Slobodan Milosevic to step down from office after being narrowly defeated at the polls by Vojislav Kostunica.

Avram Dega, general secretary of the Union of Baptist Churches in Serbia, in a communication to the Baptist World Alliance, said, "There is very high tension between the regime and the opposition, and it grows. There are peaceful demonstrations in all cities and towns in Serbia and we expect strikes, traffic blockades, closed universities, schools and other public institutions with the goal that everything would stop in Serbia.

"This is the beginning and how the things will develop I don't know," Dega said. "I do know that the most effective method for us to be a part of the solution of these crises is our JOINED PRAYERS."

Though peaceful protests began today, there is understandable concern for conflict in an area that has seen terrible violence in recent times.

Dega urged prayer for:

-- a peaceful solution to solve the electoral crises, in which a run-off is scheduled.

-- that truth and democracy will prevail.

-- that people and all political leaders and parties, the army and the police will act in the spirit of tolerance and truth to guard the people against any danger of conflicts and bloodshed.

Used with Permission from the Baptist Press.