Church leaders in eastern Ukraine send up S.O.S.

Evangelical leaders meet in Kiev.  (Image courtesy IRS.IN.UA via Russian Ministries)

Evangelical leaders meet in Kiev.
(Image courtesy IRS.IN.UA via Russian Ministries)

Ukraine (MNN) — Evangelical church leaders in eastern Ukraine are calling for help. They recently released a statement detailing the ongoing persecution of believers and directed the world community to take action.

“Targeted attacks have been carried out by armed militants against evangelicals,” reads part of the official statement, “accompanied by abductions, beatings, torture, threats of execution, pogroms in places of prayer meetings, seizures of houses of worship, rehabilitation centers, and other places of worship.”

You can read the full report on Russian Ministries’ religious freedom blog.

Ukraine’s former Interim President, Oleksander Turchynov, is an evangelical Baptist who took the helm following months of violent protests. Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine view any and all evangelicals as supporters of Ukraine’s government, and therefore a threat.

“[Separatists] believe that evangelical churches are their enemies. In one of the towns, they even raised the Orthodox flag and said they would fight any heretic, any Protestant, anyone who represents any Western immoral values,” said Russian Ministries President Sergey Rakhuba in a July 23 report.

Evangelical church leaders are calling on groups like the UN and European Union to take action against the separatists on their behalf. They’re also calling on believers worldwide to join them in prayer.

Find a list of prayer needs on the right side of this page. Then, add your voice to the “prayer wall” we’re building on Facebook.

More on the work of Russian Ministries in Ukraine here.