Evangelical Christians protested against the actions of the occupation authorities in Crimea
Evangelical Christians and their supporters protested against the actions of the occupation authorities in Bakhchysarai, Crimea, where the local Pentecostal church "Voice of Hope" was forbidden to worship in their own building.
Peaceful rally was held on 12 December in front of the Russian Embassy in Kyiv with the participation of the faithful of the Church of Evangelical Christians of Ukraine, which includes community in Bakhchisarai, Institute of Religious Freedom informs.
"Local authorities from August 2016 constantly presented different requirements to community leadership from the FSB, prosecutor's office, fire services (something to repair, remove the signboard with the title of the church and the biblical quote, etc.), and Dec. 2 issued order of “the impossibility of premises to operate”, said bishop Michael Panochko in his written address to the representatives of the Russian Federation.
In this way, the Russian authorities have banned the Church of Evangelical Christians "Voice of Hope" to use their private building in Bakhchysarai for worship and social service.
Solidarity with the persecuted Christians of Crimea expressed as clergy of other churches that participated in the rally, including the Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC).
Bishop Leonid Padun who because of religious persecution was forced to leave the pro-Russian militants captured Donetsk, said that such religious persecution still feel Evangelical Christians in a war zone in the east of Ukraine. In early 2016, self-proclaimed authorities organized a rally against the Ukrainian Greek Catholic parish in Donetsk. Recently pro-Russian militants illegally confiscated house of worship Seventh-day Adventist Church in Horlivka Donetsk region.