The pastor of the “Living Word” church from Lugansk, Ukraine, and at the same time Ukrainian army soldier was killed by a shell hit. Church of Christ the Saviour in Donetsk was forced to stop services because their building was seized by the militants. And the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Crimea may be re-registered in order to continue to serve on the territory of temporarily occupied Crimea.
On November 12 the militants seized the building of the “Church of Christ the Saviour” in Donetsk, as well as the car of one of the ministers. According to a friend of pastor Vladimir Franchuk of the “Church of Christ the Savior,” the armed men seized the building and took away the keys of all locks, forced out the believers who were inside the building and forbade the church to carry out any services in the building. They literally meant that if believers gather again, they all will be shot.
On November 24 in the village Pesky, Donetsk region, Sergey Reuta, a pastor, and soldier of the battalion “Dnepr-1” was killed. The death occurred as a result of shell hit while he was leading the service. In addition, Sergei Reut served as pastor, preached about Christ, distributed Bibles, and prayed with the people. Sergey Reut was the pastor of the “Living Word” church in Lugansk. He left behind his wife and three children.
UGCC in the temporarily occupied Crimea
According to the Head of the External Relations Department of the UGCC Father Olexa Petriv, every 90 days the priests of theUGCC were forced to travel because of the Ukrainian citizenship in Crimea. The leaders of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church admitted that there is a possibility of re-registration under Russian law on the territory of Crimea annexed by Russia, to continue to serve the congregation.
The monitoring is led by the organization “All together!”within the priority “Religious Freedom.”