In early August, Russian authorities confiscated the building of the Melitopol Christian Church in Ukraine and turned it into a cultural, entertainment, and sports centre.
“They entered the church and said that this building is no longer ours because it has been nationalised. Then they expelled all who were inside,” said eyewitnesses.
On 23 October, in the seized chapel of the church, the Russian occupying authorities organised a concert for the 79th anniversary of the liberation of Melitopol by the Red Army from the hands of the Nazis.
The concert’s main goal, however, was to glorify contemporary imperial Russia and honour the Russian army. So far, the buildings of the three largest evangelical churches in Melitopol have been confiscated . Pastors have been arrested, interrogated and forced to leave the city.
Pray for church leaders who have chosen to stay behind in Ukraine in areas of high persecution.
Pray that Russian civilians will recognise the wrongdoings of their leaders’ attacks and will take a stand against continued violence in Ukraine.
Pray for the continued strength and protection of churches in Ukraine. Pray that their congregations will continue gathering in secret, despite the risks.