Persecution Update October 2014: Ukraine

Russian fighters DonetskUkraine has long been the freest of the former Soviet republics and has welcomed Western missions activity, but with the Moscow-sponsored fighting in that country, the situation is changing.  The pro-Russian separatists who have invaded eastern and southern Ukraine have demonstrated their loyalty to the Russian Orthodox Church, which views Protestants as a threat to the political order.  Last June in the Donetsk region, rebels tortured and murdered four Christians.  The militants also killed a pastor in Mariupol.  In the eastern region of Lughansk, two Orthodox priests along with armed rebels invaded an evangelical church and ordered everyone to leave so they could take possession of the building.  Increasingly, the rebels have targeted Christians in these two regions for beatings, threats of execution, and seizure of personal and church properties.  Yet, Ukrainian believers have demonstrated acts of mercy by welcoming refugees who have been displaced by the fighting into their own homes.  Please intercede for the peace of Ukraine so the Gospel will advance—and also for persecuted Christians who are suffering for their faith in Christ.