Ukraine Parliament Debates Constitution amid Protests

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KIEV, Ukraine -- All eyes are on the Ukraine parliament Tuesday as lawmakers debate constitutional changes designed to weaken presidential powers.

While they meet, tens of thousands of Ukrainians continue to demonstrate on the streets of Kiev, as they have done since last November, demanding that President Viktor Yanukovych step down.

Some believe the protests come from Yanukovych's decision to rebuff a multi-billion dollar deal that would have brought closer relations with the European Union.

This past Sunday, as thousands were gathering on Maidan, Kiev's Independence Square and the epicenter of the political crisis, hundreds of Christian volunteers also fanned out. They had a mission: to hand out 15,000 copies of the Gospel of John.

"People are looking to the politicians to solve our crisis. But we are here to say it is not politics, but Jesus Christ who is the answer for Ukraine," Boris Volkov, with the Association for Spiritual Renewal, said.

Since last November, the churches in Ukraine have been actively involved, seizing the opportunity to speak truth and hope into the political crisis. Churches have held 24-hour prayer vigils and conducted numerous evangelistic outreaches.

CBN Kiev has been actively involved, as they have been for the last 20 years, using television and other evangelistic tools to share the gospel of Jesus Christ

"One of the things that is exciting to me is that we are not embarrassed to name the name of God, not embarrassed to name the name of Jesus Christ," Steve Weber, director of CBN Ukraine, said.

"We've got placards down there on Maidan saying 'pray to Jesus; Jesus has the future for our nation,'" he continued. And they are praying from the stage down there morning and night. They open up every morning with the Lord's Prayer."

In an exclusive interview, the former head of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense told CBN News how encouraged he is by the role the Church is playing.

"All churches, all denominations, with no exceptions they are here. They are spreading an important message on those barricades, and when the police started to attack, it was the Christians who stood and called for peace," former Defense Minister Anatoliy Gritsenko said.

Meanwhile, demonstrators and Christian volunteers told CBN News they'll continue to speak hope and to lay the biblical foundations that will one day bring peace and prosperity to their nation.

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