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UKRAINE: Memorial service held for four murdered ChristiansURL: http://churchinchains.ie/node/729
31st July, 2014
On Sunday 20 July a service was held in the city of Slavyansk, in the volatile Donetsk region, in memory of four Christians killed by pro-Russian separatists on 9 June 2014.
Pastor Peter Dudnyk wrote: "Our brothers have been murdered... The funeral service is today. All the Evangelical churches of the city came together at the funeral service, cancelling their regular worship services. They shot the brothers for believing in the Lord Jesus Christ."
The four murdered Christians were Reuben Pavenko (born 1984), his brother Albert Pavenko (born 1990), Viktor Bradarsky (born 1974) and Vladimir Velichko (born 1973). The men were kidnapped on Sunday 8 June after a festive Trinity Sunday service at the Transfiguration Church in Slavyansk, and were taken to the former offices of the Security Service of Ukraine in Slavyansk, which is 145km from the Russian border.
At that time the strategic city was under rebel occupation, which lasted for three months until government forces retook it on 5 July. During the occupation militants in Slavyansk seized several church premises, including those of the Orthodox Church. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on 7 June, "Blindfolded and bound parishioners are being used as human shields."
Tortured and shot dead
The men's families did not know what had happened to them, and could only wait and pray. It was some weeks before it emerged that, on the night of the kidnapping, the terrorists abused and tortured the four men. In the morning they let them go, and the Christians left by car, driven by one of them. Once they left the city, however, the terrorists chased after them in a vehicle and shot at their car. Three of the Christians jumped out to try to escape, but were shot dead immediately. The driver was killed also, and his body was burned when the militants set the car on fire. They took the bodies and buried them in a mass grave with bodies other victims murdered during the occupation of Slovyansk and bodies of militants killed in clashes with government forces.
The four Christian men leave wives and at least eleven children between them.
For the past few months, church leaders in eastern Ukraine from various Christian denominations have been threatened, kidnapped, beaten, arrested and even killed, allegedly by pro-Russian separatist militants. Some pastors have fled to western Ukraine. The Pavenko brothers were sons of the church pastor, and one of the other murdered men from Slavyansk was an elder.
A spokesman for Christian Aid Mission said rebels are targeting Christians because they support the Ukrainian government and its security forces, and suggested that the abuse of pastors might be retaliation for congregation members giving food and clothing to Ukrainian soldiers. The relatives of the four murdered Christians from Slavyansk say they had no involvement in politics.
In May, Archpriest Pavel Zhuchenko of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate was shot dead near a roadblock in the Donetsk region. Pro-Russian rebels were blamed for his death. Days later the national bishop of the Ukrainian Church of God was abducted in Slovyansk and held overnight. Militants seized his church building to use as a base for their operations.
Evangelical Church Leaders' Statement
On 8 July a statement was issued in Kiev, signed by the members of the Council of Evangelical Protestant Churches of Ukraine:
"Since the onset of the activisation of the East Ukrainian separatist movements and the so-called proclamation of the Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people's republics' (DNR and LNR), Christians in the eastern regions, especially evangelical religious denominations, are increasingly the victims of religious persecution.
"Targeted attacks have been carried out by armed militants against evangelicals, accompanied by abductions, beatings, torture, threats of execution, pogroms in places of prayer meetings, seizures of houses of worship, rehabilitation centres and other places of worship along with support facilities, with bodily harm inflicted on pastors and priests and damage to their personal property.
"There is factual documentation of the capture and beating of evangelical pastors and ministers occurring in May - June 2014 in Slovyansk, Gorlovka, Donetsk and Druzhkovka. DNR and LNR terrorists not only have been preventing the religious activities of evangelical Christians, they are also taking over the houses of worship to accommodate their own staffs, hospitals and gun emplacements. These incidents have occurred repeatedly in Donetsk and Gorlovka, as well as in Slovyansk, Shakhtersk, Druzhkovka, and Torez in the Donetsk Region and in Luhansk.
"Moreover, on June 14 in a terrorist attack on the bridge in Mariupol, DNR militants killed Pastor Sergey Skorobagach from the Vivification Church, who also served as the Chairman of the City Council of Churches.
"The Council of Evangelical Protestant Churches of Ukraine condemns any discrimination and religious persecution of believers in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions... We call upon the international community, including the monitoring missions of the UN, OSCE, the Council of Europe and the European Union to make efforts to prevent the continuation and escalation of religious intolerance in the territories of Eastern Ukraine controlled by armed separatists. We are convinced that the entire world community must condemn the oppression of religious freedom in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which has reached the level of physical violence against those with dissenting viewpoints, including real mortal threats to evangelical Christians in Eastern Ukraine."
(Christian Aid Mission, International Christian Concern, Irish Times, Mission Network News, Russian Ministries Religious Freedom Blog)
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4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
2 Thessalonians, 1.
Before to read the central core of this post, I recall to you again a commento by C. Stiliyanov:
EDITED "last minute". A comment of C. Stiliyanov.
Satan dragging "Evangelicals" to push them in the middle of the target next to be hit by the Stone:
.....under the post:
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Renzi, Orban and Putin working toghether: Catholic-Fascist Europe every day more near
* * *
The following report appears in the ACP bullettin, January 2015:
In Eastern Ukraine people are affected not only by the war but they are also threatened by the approach of winter. And Christians are exposed to a triple front
Simon BoschmannCollaborant ACPThrough Skype I am in contact with my friend and pastor. Sergej * [* a fake name to protect the identity of the real person] is the responsible of the community founded by ACP at Lugansk. Togehter with many other Christians he too has been threaned.
Pastors and churches on the target.Sergej says: "here the Christians are persecuted. Many pastors and leaders of church went threatened and had to flee. Some have been killed, like the four ones in Slaviansk. At the moment it is impossible to tell (confess) in public to be Christian. You would be immediately blamed for being a Western agent of a sectarian person".
Sergej confirms what the refugees of Lugansk and Donetsk already communicated to Waldemar Sardacuzuk, who in November, even more busy, he went again in Ukraine to bring there support and to call a comitee to coordinate our support for the needy.
"In the Lugansk region all the places for prayer have been closed or seized. Every religious group is forbidden". The separatists [Russian ones] ransacked all the roads destroying all the chapels and meeting halls of Protestants. At the vehicles of the terrorists there were hanged icons and images of saints. The declared goal is the one to expell or to kill the "sectarian evangelicals", in Slaviansk as well in other cities.
Refugees as envoys from GOD."About 95 percent of the community members are fled", says Sergej. During a visit to Lusk, Waldemar met some of them. One family of theirs found refugee in a burned house which has been put at their disposition free from charges for three years.. They have only to take care of the reconstruction of the house, therefore they accept gratefully the support of ACP. The man was a diacon at Lugansk and now he is enagaged here at Lutsk as responsible for a linked church. He took care about that his pastor was preaching: "Don't think of yourselves as refugee, but as envoys [missionaries] of GOD, proclaiming Jesus Christ and serving the neighbor there where He want you to be!".
The faith is onl trailSergej is referring also to spiritual challenges: "before the fleed we were talking a lot about faith. Now, after we lost everything, we are living the faith trusting in God. He has to provide for us because we have now nothing left.Our faith is under a very hard trial, but He never forgives us!".
ACP and Nehemia are supporting the refugees and the aboandoned people in the East. We organize humanitarian transport from ACP Germany, ACP Switzerland and from Ukraine. We help with purchases of building construction material, as windows, doors and roofs to repair the houses for the coming winter.
Sergej tells: "the last week we have brought one ton and half of potatoes in East Ukraine. Many peopole cried. It was a miracle that the delivery reached the destination.".
"God doesn't abandon us!" trusts Sergej in God and he is very grateful for our help. Let's go at the side of our brothers and sistes on all the fronts".
Above image - page 8 of the bulletin Azione per i Cristiani Perseguitati e Bisgnosi /Action for Persecuted and Needy Christians - ACP, describing the condition of threat and persecution against the not-Orthodox and not-Catholic Christians in the Eastern "secessionist" Ukrainian republics. Christians are accused to be "sectarian" or "agents of the West".
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
World wide anti-Baptist (and anti-Protestant) strategy unifies Marxist China and Ukrainian low intensity war.
-----------------------------------------------Sunday, May 18, 2014
Next Counter Reformation mass assassination in Ukraine?