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Daily News and Prayer is inspired by The Christian Science Monitor, one of the most important (and most underappreciated) newspapers in the world. Posts are usually (but not always) responses to articles in the Monitor about events and trends that call for prayer.

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East and West in Central Europe

Some 25 years after the end of the Cold War, it’s not at all clear that the West won.  For many people who had lived under the Soviet system, life became worse, not better after 1989.

They were told to be patient, that a transition to democracy and free markets takes time. Many are still waiting. And, as Sara Miller Llana notes in an article in The Christian Science Monitor, for many of those living in Central and Eastern Europe, patience has run out. They’re looking East again, toward Russia. And this time it’s willingly.

In President Putin they think they see someone who could give them a measure of stability and prosperity, or at least some pride. In the West, on the other hand, especially America, they see danger and decadence. What values is America promoting? In their view, the values are: If you’re not with us you’re against us; If you’re not with us you might get bombed; Become rich, but if you don’t there’s no safety net to catch you; Embrace freedom and you’ll get all the celebrities and pornography you want.

America will never regain its footing in that part of the world (and other parts, too) until it understands that God and religion and moral values aren’t things you impose on people. Christ Jesus said, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” If the US lifts up Christ in its actions – that is, if it shows love, patience, gratitude, wisdom, justice, mercy – it will draw other people and other nations to its side. That won’t make it an exclusively Christian nation. It will make it a loving, patient, grateful, wise, just and merciful one. To pray for America is to pray for those qualities, in the country and in ourselves, even if we’re not American. The world needs an America that is truly righteous.

An arrogant Russia is dangerous for the world. So is an arrogant America. Maybe the country that reaches humility first will finally win the Cold War.


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