By Gavin Drake. Church Times
Churches in eastern Ukraine held a joint service this week to mourn the deaths of four Christians who were kidnapped in June.
The Senior Bishop of the All-Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Christian Churches, the Rt Revd Mikhajlo Panochko, said that pro-Russian militia stormed the Church of the Transfiguration after the Pentecost service in June, capturing two deacons, Volodymyr Velichko and Victor Bradarskoho, as well as Reuben and Albert Pavenko – two adult children of the church’s pastor, the Revd Alexander Pavenko. The militia had attempted to capture him, but he managed to escape with his younger children.
Last week, after the escape of another captured man, the regional deputy prosecutor, Sergey Mironenko, it was revealed that the four men had been charged with “crimes against the Donetsk People’s Republic” – supporting the Ukrainian army – and had been tortured and killed the day after they were captured.