Authorities in eastern Ukraine shut down all Evangelical churches
All Evangelical churches in the Lugansk People’s Republic face forced closure, as authorities in the self-proclaimed autonomous region in eastern Ukraine, overrun by forces loyal to Russia, are understood to have banned their activity. Congregations are emptying church buildings of books and furniture. Church leaders contacted Barnabas to ask for prayers “that God gives wisdom and strength in this situation”.
In February 2018, authorities in the LPR announced that all religious associations would need to register by August and in July banned the activity of one group of evangelical churches, which were described as an “extremist religious organisation”. In August, a pastor and other leaders were arrested and detained in a raid on a church service in Alchevsk.
The LPR was formed in 2014 as a result of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Evangelical churches have been repeatedly targeted by separatist elements.
Lift up the Evangelical Christian community in eastern Ukraine. Pray that in the midst of threats and uncertainty they will rejoice that they have been counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s Name (Acts 5:41). Pray for wisdom and strength as they are forced to become an “underground” church and that they will know the presence, comfort and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
From Barnabas Fund contacts