Pastor Serhiy Lytovchenko released from captivity of Donetsk fighters
On Thursday, October 16, Serhiy Lytivchenko, a pastor of the local congregation of the Church of Seventh Day Adventists in Horlivka was reported to be released from captivity, having spent 20 days in captivity militant self-proclaimed “Donetsk People's Republic” (DNR), This information was confirmed by the Kyiv office of the Church for the Institute for Religious Freedom.
The released pastor soon meet with his family and the Church ministers. His health and overall condition is not yet known. The Church congregation is grateful to everyone who prayed for his release.
As reported, on September 27, 2014 in the city of Horlivka, Donetsk region, the house of worship in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, where the rite of Communion was held at that time, was stormed by fighters of the “Donetsk People's Republic” armed with machine guns. They interrupted the service and forced the congregation to disperse.
Pastor Serhiy Lytovchenko was ordered to close the church building, forced into one of the militants’ cars and was taken to an unknown destination.
The attackers justified their actions by saying that “this is the Orthodox eland and there is no place for different sects” When the congregation asked them who they were and on what basis they acted and asked to produce documents, the armed men rudely replied that “it is none of your business,” according to the website of the Church.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church in Ukraine is an officially registered Protestant church in the charity project "Angel of the East" and provides assistance to residents affected by armed conflict in the east. The believers gather for poor food, clothing, basic necessities, and are working to restore their homes.