For Ukrainian Jews, Crisis Raises Ghost of Holocaust

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The situation in the Ukraine pits East versus West, but as often happens in a crisis, Jewish people are caught in the middle.

While the images of Russian troops, protests and barricades dominate the news, behind the scenes another drama is playing out.

Michael Utterback, with Ministry to Israel and Ezra International, said Ukrainian Jews are fearful.

"The Jews are afraid," Utterback told CBN News. "All across the Ukraine, there's a fear, not a panic, but there's a fear that they'll be blamed for a lot of the problems that are taking place in the Ukraine right now."

The Jewish people in Ukraine today remember their history and have reason to fear. Nearly a million Ukrainian Jews were killed in the Holocaust and more than 30,000 of them in the infamous Babi Yar massacre in 1941 in Kiev.

Now, once again they see foreign troops on their soil.

"When they see an invader come in who has a hatred for Jewish people they become afraid," Utterback explained.

Utterback serves with two organizations that have helped more than 130,000 Jews emigrate from the former Soviet Union to Israel since 1991. He said now many more are looking for a way out to go to the Jewish state.

"We have 15 full-time workers and hundreds of volunteers that are working with the Jews all across the Ukraine," he said. "Recently, we have seen the people asking for assistance."

"That number has doubled since all of this has gone on," he continued. "And they're calling night and day asking for someone to know how to immigrate to Israel."

Utterback said despite the crisis, prophecy is being fulfilled.

"If you pull back from all of this and look at what really is taking place from a spiritual perspective, we're watching prophecy come to pass before our very eyes," he told CBN News.

"God promised there would come a day when Jews would have to come back to their own land," he said.

Utterback said it's time to pray for the Ukraine.

"I believe that if believers all over the world would begin praying for the Ukraine, that God would help them in the situation they're in," he said. "Pray that God would spread that throughout the nation and that righteousness would once again reign throughout that land."

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