Church Without Freedom: Evangelical Churches in the Occupied Territories of Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists ride on a tank in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. (Photo courtesy of Reuters)

Michael Cherenkov, the Executive Director of Mission Eurasia Field Ministries, just published an editorial in Christian Today on the threats facing evangelical churches in the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine. In the occupied territory of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), all non-Orthodox churches and religious organizations were given the deadline of March 1, 2019 to register with the state. However, none of these churches or organizations were permitted to register, and now that the deadline has passed, they are considered “illegal” under the DNR. This means that punishments such as arrest, property seizure, fines, or even physical assault can be enacted if churches engage in any kind of evangelism or missionary activity. Church groups could even face punishment for gathering in a private home. Read more about what these developments mean for the evangelical church in eastern Ukraine and how Christians around the world can unite in prayer and support for our suffering Ukrainian brothers and sisters in Christ in the Christian Today article.