PRINCIPLES FOR RESOLVING ETHNIC CONFLICTS by J. Parnell McCarter
We are witnessing in Ukraine ad hoc policies based upon self-interest and convenience rather than sound Biblical principles.† The article at http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/if-we-have-to-pick-a-side-over-crimea-let-it-be-russia-1.1731105 correctly points out how all sides are engaging in unprincipled actions.† Especially under such circumstances, the Church should be providing to the world a clear statement of Biblical principles which nations could follow to resolve such ethnic conflicts.† What principles are taught by the Bible that would help elucidate the moral course of action?
As one member of the Church, let me propose some relevant Biblical principles and then suggest how they should be applied in Ukraine at this time.† Here are some principles I would propose:
1. It is the eschatological destiny and right of every people in the world to have its own ethnic homeland nation, and it is the duty of each one to kiss the Son and uphold his Biblical moral law.
2. It is the right and responsibility of each such nation to control its borders and immigration from foreign conquest.
3. When an ethnic people within a nation are being singled out for oppression or discrimination by another people or peoples in power in that nation, the civil leaders of that oppressed people have a moral duty to seek to protect them from such tyranny, and if necessary to effect a secession of that oppressed people from the oppressing nation.
Here is how I would suggest these principles should be applied in Ukraine at this time:
1. Ukrainians have a right to their own separate ethnic homeland nation (independent of Russia), even as Russians have a right to their own ethnic homeland nation.
2. Russian Crimeans (who constitute the ruling majority of Crimea) have a right to leave Ukraine and join Russia, along with the Crimean territory where they reside and constitute the majority.
3. The Tartars have a right to an independent ethnic homeland nation of their own where they will be protected from the abuse of Russians.† An independent Tartarstan is the most credible one.
4. All of the above ethnic peoples (Russians, Ukrainians, and Tartars) have a moral duty to repent and kiss the Son and uphold his Biblical moral law.