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Donetsk’ War on Protestant Churches

Is there a targeted effort to take out Protestant Churches in the Eastern Ukraine war-zone?

In this video reporter Simon Ostrovsky recently traveled to Donetsk and visited several Protestant church buildings that are now under the control of Donetsk People’s Republic soldiers.

One pastor describes how armed men came to their church building and said,

“If you gather here again we will shoot you!

We only support the Orthodox Church, your Protestant churches shouldn’t be here.”

Later Simon interviews a soldier who is guarding a Baptist church building that is now being used by the soldiers for a military base.

propoganda

When asked about the building the soldier replies:

“This building used to be a Baptist sect. I don’t know, when the war started they disappeared. There is only one faith, Orthodoxy. I am Orthodox. It was left to us by our ancestors and the Baptist are schismatics. It’s American propaganda. Which fills the heads of our people, Russian, Slavic, which results in what you see now, the war.”

It’s a little hard to imagine his logic, blaming Baptists who are historically pacifists for the war!

Simon asked the soldier if he would allow the Baptists to return and this is his answer:

“Personally I wouldn’t let them come back.”

“Because I took up arms so that we could have an Orthodox state.”

Officially the representatives of Donetsk People’s Republic condemn the seizing of Protestant Churches, yet they know it is going on and they don’t often seem to do anything about it.

They also claim that Donetsk People’s Republic guarantees the freedom of religion, however, their constitution is very heavily weighted toward the Russian Orthodox Church.

This is what their constitution says about the Orthodox Church.

“The normative form of spiritual and religious education will be belong to the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, which allows for freedom of religion, with the exception of religions that are foreign to Russian cultural and civilization.”

Yes, you read that correctly! They include the words “freedom of religion” but it’s kind of like saying,

“You’re free to worship however you want as long as you choose to worship in the Russian Orthodox Church!”

On a positive note you may remember that just a couple of weeks ago I reported about the seizing of the church building in Antratsit for the second time! Once again God miraculously responded and returned the building to the Church!

Please pray for these churches whose building have been seized and for these believers who are boldly continuing to serve and worship God despite the danger.

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • DS

    We heard of these actions very early on from a group we support printing Bibles. They were able to relocate the press, but it’s still hard to imagine what is taking place, as an American.

    The moment in the video (5:45) where the elder of the church mentions that, “We are not afraid, because the first century Christians were persecuted, and they weren’t afraid to preach Jesus,” is powerful.

    Thanks for using your ability to share information with others so that they can be elevated in prayer, and other support.

    • We have realized that everything can change very fast and we must be ready for that change as much as possible.

  • Happymom5

    Simon did an excellent job of asking questions and exposing what is going on in a respectful manner. I am very moved yet again, and realize that we must prepare our hearts as Christians for more or even worse.

  • Unbelievable! I guess that’s exactly what the Bible calls “willfully ignorant”. I’m praying for the church and the buildings to be released. This is hard to grasp…

    • Yes, it is hard to believe especially because for over 20 years these churches have experienced unparalleled freedom of religion and worship. Your prayers are appreciated.