Image: Serhii Mykhalchuk / Global Images Ukraine / Getty Images
This article from Christianity Today was published in February of this year. The number of religious buildings destroyed now exceeds 500 - more than one for each day of the 500-day invasion by Russian forces.
And more than 500 religious sites hit including many
Report: 500 Ukrainian Churches and Religious Sites Damaged by Russian Military
By Meagan Saliashvili in Christianity Today
One out of three destroyed or looted buildings tallied by Institute for Religious Freedom belong to evangelicals, accused of being “American spies.”
“The independent research institute presented its latest report this week during the third international religious freedom summit in Washington.
The IRF aims to catalog evidence of Russian war crimes against Ukrainian religious communities. The destruction of religious sites is often intentional and happening in tandem with attacks on civilian believers and pastors, said executive director Maksym Vasin.
Russian soldiers have repeatedly threatened to destroy evangelical Christians in Ukraine, calling them “American spies,” “sectarians,” and “enemies of the Russian Orthodox people,” saidValentyn Siniy, rector of the Kherson-based Tavriski Christian Institute—one of scores of damaged sites belonging to evangelical groups.
Russian forces seized the seminary’s building as a headquarters, looted it, and then left it destroyed, he said.
“One Russian officer told an employee of our institute that ‘evangelical believers like you should be completely destroyed … a simple shooting will be too easy for you. You need to be buried alive,’” said Siniy, according to the IRF report. In a translated video played during the panel, he elaborated, “During a telephone conversation, one of our employees was told, ‘We will bury [Baptist] sectarians like you.’”
The IRF report found that “the scale of destruction of evangelical church prayer houses is immense.” It tallied at least 170 damaged evangelical sites—including 75 Pentecostal churches, 49 Baptist churches, 24 Seventh-day Adventist churches, and 22 “other” evangelical churches—comprising a full third of the total, even though evangelicals comprise less than 5 percent of Ukraine’s population.”
For the full article go to: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2023/february/ukrainian-churches-damaged-russia-war-religious-freedom-irf.html