Evangelical preacher and son murdered in Ukraine
They were working in their garage when a group of Russian soldiers abducted them. Four days later, their bodies were found in a forest.
Release International, KHPG · KHERSON · 05 DECEMBER 2022 · 09:30 CET
A leader of a Pentecostal church near the city of Kherson (in Ukraine) and his 19-year-old son have been found dead.
This has been reported by the Christian organisation Release International, based on informations of two agencies In Ukraine: the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group and the Centre for Journalistic Investigations.
Anatoliy Prokopchuk and his son Oleksandr were abducted on the evening of 22 November. They happened to be working in their garage in the city where they live, Nova Kakhovka, when Russian forces forcibly took the two in direction to a neighbouring village.
The wife of Anatoliy and other relatives alarmed about their disappearance on social media, but no sign of life appeared until 4 days later, when their bodies were found in a nearby forest.
Their murder leaves a widow and five other children.
A source on the ground quoted by Release International, said Anatoliy was a deacon and preacher in the Pentecostal church in the city where they lived. According to the same source, their bodies had signs of torture.
“Ukrainian investigators continue to discover the bodies of civilian victims in all areas liberated after months of Russian occupation”, writes the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. “Sometimes the victims were bound or had in some other way clearly been subjected to torture before being murdered. In other cases, the Russians appear to have simply shot and killed people who were unfortunately enough to be on the road when they passed”.
Other evangelical Christians targeted
Many other evangelical churches in occupied zones have suffered the violence of the Russian troops. A recent case was the abduction of a pastor and his wife, who had refused to open their church premises for the illegal annexation referendum held in Mariupol.
Earlier, a group of 10 volunteers of a Christian orphanage were held and beaten in Berdyansk.
In April, the body of the dean of an evangelical theological seminary was found in Bucha.