In Melitopol, armed invaders abducted a priest during prayer

Пастор церкви «Источник жизни» Валентин Журавлев Фото: Facebook

In Melitopol Russian occupants abducted Valentyn Zhuravlev, pastor of Protestant church «Istochnyk zhizni». Russian armed soldiers took the priest right in the center of the city during a joint prayer of believers of different denominations.

Valentyn Zhuravlev’s abduction was reported to the Center for Journalist Investigations by his friends.

Joint services of priests of different denominations have been held in Melitopol since the beginning of the occupation. People go to the main square of the city and pray for peace, for Ukraine and for Melitopol.

During the prayer, which took place at Victory Square on Saturday, June 18, Russian soldiers approached believers.

«They asked who is the boss here. People pointed to the pastor. Then they took him away,» the resident of Melitopol said.

According to reports from the local residents, there were no aggressive actions or calls during the service.

Pastor Valentyn Zhuravlyov is a member of the Interdenominational Committee of Christian Churches of Melitopol. In secular life, he has a veterinary practice and is the owner of the veterinary clinic «Aibolyt».

In Melitopol, after the occupation, believers of Protestant religious organizations were already kidnapped. In March, Russian occupants held Dmytro Bodya, pastor of the Evangelical Church «Word of Life», for more than a week. Pastor of the «New Generation» church Viktor Sergeyev, had to leave the city in a hurry due to the threat of kidnapping.

In addition, as reported by the Defense Headquarters of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, head of the Christian-Baptist Church in Vasylivka Mykola Zholovan was abducted on June 18.

As the CJI reported, according to Zaporizhzhia Oblast Military Administration, as of June 17, 2022, 347 civilians were held hostage by the occupants. 206 have been released and 141 are still illegally detained. .


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