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During the liturgical season of Lent, it is important to remember the Christians around the world who are suffering persecution, especially those in Ukraine, a religious freedom advocate told Fox News Digital.

“During Lent, Christians reflect on the suffering of Jesus during his 40 days in the desert,” said Steven Moore.

Today based in Ukraine, Moore is a former chief of staff on Capitol Hill and founder of the Ukraine Freedom Project. 

“Unfortunately, Ukraine’s faithful have an easier time identifying with the suffering of our Lord than most,” he said. 

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Lent in Ukraine looks very different compared to the United States. 

“In the United States, the sacrifice of Lent is preceded by a Fat Tuesday celebration and ends with Easter, a family feast celebrating Christ’s victory over death and resurrection for our sins,” said Moore.

While many Christians in the United States opt to give up something like sweets or soda during Lent, these sacrifices in Ukraine are happening all year long. 

“Believers in Russian-occupied Ukraine celebrate Lent, but in truth are giving things up year round, such as personal safety and the ability to worship the Lord as they choose among them,” he said. 

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In the Ukrainian city of Melitopol, attendees of a Baptist church were met with Russian soldiers in full combat gear who interrupted their worship service. 

Those in attendance were fingerprinted and their pastor was arrested, said Moore. 

destroyed church in Ukraine

“Christians in occupied Ukraine will celebrate Easter underground, curtains tightly drawn, wary of Russian troops knocking at the door,” he said. 

“Easter will not mark the end of their sacrifice for upholding their faith.” 

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Moore praised these and other Ukrainian Christians for living out their faith with “high morale and bravery” even under the threat of persecution. 

UKRAINE ORIKHIV

“Beyond a territorial, resource and freedom struggle, Ukrainians are fighting for their faith and the right for religious freedom,” he said.

He noted that “a youth pastor from Melitopol Christian Church said that every non-Russian Orthodox church was systematically shut down by the Russian military and at least 26 Christian leaders have been killed by the Russians in occupied Ukraine.” 

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These stories, said Moore, are not getting out of Ukraine, as “information is tightly controlled.” 

“Giving of one’s service is another way we offer praise during Lent.”

“Giving of one’s service is another way we offer praise during Lent,” said Moore. 

He continued, “I encourage every Christian reading this to give service to Ukraine’s forgotten Christians by bringing awareness to what our fellow brothers and sisters are experiencing every day.” 

These stories, said Moore, are simply the ones that we know.

“Please join me in prayer for the many we do not,” he said. 

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