Ukraine: Prominent Evangelical Pastor Faces Arrest
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 Aug 28
The pastor of what is believed to be the largest evangelical church in eastern Europe is facing possible arrest in Ukraine, CBN News reports. Pastor Sunday Adelaja, who is originally from Nigeria, was summoned to police headquarters in Kiev on Tuesday, where he could be detained for what he says are false allegations. Police have been investigating Adelaja for several years in connection with an investment firm run by members of his church, which collapsed during the global recession. Though Adelaja says neither he nor church leaders have any connection with the business and police have never produced evidence of a link, authorities are accusing him of fraud and running a criminal enterprise. Adelaja insists he is facing persecution for religious, ethnic and political reasons. "Because of the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church, because the Russian Orthodox Church has been trying to get rid of not just myself, but all the evangelical[s] in Europe ... and I am a black man leading a congregation of 99 percent Europeans," he said. "So I am a target, and this economic meltdown and the collapse of this company has presented them with a perfect opportunity." Five members of Adelaja's church have been imprisoned without trial in an attempt to force them to testify against him.