Evangelical churches in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk are being targeted by pro-Russian forces, which view the evangelicals as ‘sects’ which support the Ukrainian government by praying for peace.
VOM has received reports of at least nine attacks on Christians, churches and church-run drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres.
Pastor Sergei Kosyak, pastor of an Assemblies of God church in Donetsk and founder of the ‘Prayer for Ukraine’ movement, was detained and beaten for four hours. In another incident, on 17 June, gunmen broke into a Christian rehabilitation centre and held 29 people hostage, before later releasing them.
Pro-Russian rebels have detained other pastors and have robbed and looted churches. Many evangelicals in the region refuse to take up weapons on principle, and some congregations have been very public about the fact that they are praying for unity in Ukraine.
Source: Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Pray the Christians in Donetsk will exemplify the love of God through consistent love and prayer for those who persecute them (Matthew 5:43-48).
- Ask the Lord to strengthen Pastor Sergei and the members of his congregation and prayer movement; may the Lord help them to overcome the trials they have faced.
- Pray that increased persecution will result in increased boldness among the believers (Acts 4:29-31).