Ukraine: Russian troops target Evangelical buildings in hundreds of attacks on religious sites
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The Kyiv-based Institute for Religious Freedom (IRF) has reported that Russian forces have caused “immense destruction” in attacking hundreds of religious buildings in Ukraine, with a grossly disproportionate emphasis on properties belonging to Ukrainian evangelical Christians, Christianity Today (CT) reports.
Addressing the third international religious freedom summit in Washington last week, the IRF said the Russian army had caused “immense” destruction in destroying, damaging, and looting Ukrainian religious sites since invading the country in February last year, CT reports.
Russian troops believe evangelical Christians are “American spies,” “sectarians,” and “enemies of the Russian Orthodox people,” the IRF said, by way of potentially explaining the attacks.
“The scale of destruction of evangelical church prayer houses is immense – at least 170 in total, of which most affected were Evangelical Christian churches – 75, Evangelical Baptist Christian prayer houses – 49, and Seventh-day Adventist churches – 24,” the IRF said in its report.
“The scale of destruction is also enormous in Kyiv region (70), where desperate battles were fought in defense of the capital, and in Kharkiv region – more than 50 destroyed religious buildings,” the IRF added. “Russian air raids, including those using Iranian drones, have affected almost all regions of Ukraine and continue to this day.”
Moreover, the IRF reported in many cases, the Russian army has taken over religious buildings to use as military bases: “This tactic of the Russian military provokes an increase in the scale of destruction of religious sites in Ukraine,” the IRF said.
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