Wednesday, September 24, 2014
East Ukraine: Russian Orthodox Firing on Protestants
Christians from Germany visited oppressed evangelical churches
Slavjansk / Schorndorf (kath.net/ idea ) National Russian Orthodox circles have also become involved in the fighting in eastern Ukraine. They have attacked targeted Protestants. This was reported by former entrepreneur Karl Schock (Schorndorf near Stuttgart) after a trip to the region. The 80-year-old visited, together with the Eastern European missionary, Hugo Kleinknecht (Tostedt near Hamburg) and a translator to six municipalities in Slavjansk and Kramatorsk belonging to the Ukrainian Pentecostal union. In eastern Ukraine, since September 5, a ceasefire has been in effect. "We wanted to be the first Christian group immediately after the armed conflict, after the liberation of the oppressed communities, to convey our support and assistance," said Schock to the Protestant News Agency, idea. The separatists, who had attacked Slavjansk, have been composed, among others, of Russian Orthodox radicals and regular Russian soldiers.
An Orthodox priest allowed shooting from his church
An Orthodox priest named Vitaly had set up an ammunition dump in his church and allowed firing at houses. In addition, he had caused the destruction of two factories of Protestant entrepreneurs. Here people were severely injured. On the same evening Russian television had accused the Ukrainian army, of being responsible for the attacks. The troops were not even involved at this point in the fighting.
All evangelical pastors and church leaders had to flee or fear for their lives and had been robbed in part. In the battles alone, 200 civilians were killed. The occasion for the solidarity trip was the murder of four Ukrainian Christians by radical nationalist, Russian Orthodox separatists on 8 June.
The victims are the deacons, Vladimir Velitschko (father of eight children) and Viktor Barodinsky (three children) and two sons of the church leader Alexander Pavenko, Ruben (three children) and Albert (single). They have been exhumed said Schock, later with 15 other victims from a mass grave and buried at the memorial of the Revolution in the center of Slavjansk.
The wife of the President of Ukraine, Marina Poroshenko, have laid down flowers there a few weeks ago with a silent prayer flowers for the martyrs [sic]. Germans can afford to contribute to the reconciliation in view of the conflict Schock said: "The long history of unholy alliances between nationalist power politics and regime-supporting ideology - where here the Russian Orthodox claim to be the sole representation - repeats itself tragically. Germany has to make an important contribution to reconciliation through its experience with totalitarian regimes here."
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