UKRAINE: Persecution of non-Orthodox believers in separatist Ukrainian regions
Militias close another two Evangelical churches in occupied Donetsk Oblast.
RISU (11.11.2019) – https://bit.ly/34Wewyy – In Makiivka, representatives of the so-called “MGB DNR” [Ministry of State Security of the Donetsk People’s Republic] forbade parishioners of the local “Word of Life” church to assemble, the well-known pastor and volunteer, Sergei Kosiak, told the Vchasno news agency.
He said the militias came to the home of the pastor of the “Word of Life” church in Makiivka and warned that if he conducts church meetings in the future they will be penalized.
A similar situation occurred involving one of the evangelical church of Khartsyzk.
“The occupying power demands that all churches in ORDLO [separate districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts] be reregistered in accordance with the laws of the fake republics,” Sergei Kosiak explained. “At the same time, registration is being conducted in such a way that makes it not so simple to do. In the occupied Luhansk region not a single evangelical church has been registered. In the so-called “DNR” evangelical churches are being registered, but at the same time some of the churches for certain reasons are being refused registration in principle on the basis of the laws of the militias.”
Sergei Kosiak noted that the occupying authority is trying to close churches that are functioning “illegally,” and clergy are being fined and even charged with extremism.
“According to the law of the fake republics, the fine for an ‘illegal meeting’ is from 500 to 10 thousand rubles (192 to 3847 hryvnia), and a second fine is up to 200 thousand rubles (76940 hryvnia), Sergei Kosiak reported. “If a church continues to meet, then they may act even more brutally. For example, in the so-called ‘LNR’ there was a case where a Jehovah’s Witnesses pamphlet and the book Cross of Hitler were planted on a priest. In ORDLO this is forbidden literature and the priest was charged with the creation of an extremist organization.”
(tr. by PDS, posted 11 November 2019)