As tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to boil to a potential tipping point, evangelist Franklin Graham is encouraging his followers to pray for Russian President Vladimir Putin—and he's facing rebuke as a result.
"Pray for President Putin," Graham wrote on Twitter and Facebook, noting his request could spark frustration. "This may sound like a strange request, and I might get some angry comments, but we need to pray that God would work in his heart so that war—and the loss of thousands of lives—could be avoided at all cost."
The evangelist went on to ask for wisdom for the world leaders involved in the dispute, noting prayer could have a life-saving impact.
"Our prayers might make the difference between life and death," Graham said.
But some took immediate issue with Graham's call. As The Christian Post noted, Democratic congressional candidate Scott Huffman lambasted the evangelist's prayer call.
"Franklin Graham asks his followers to pray for Putin. Guess he forgot about the Ukrainians and our NATO allies," he wrote. "It's almost like he supports the enemy who is about to declare war and kill people."
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