According to the charity for persecuted Christians, Release International, the bodies of evangelical church leader, Anatoliy Prokopchuk (52), and his son, Oleksandr (19) were found in a forest in Ukraine after they were abducted by Russian troops on 22 November. Prokopchuk and is son were subjected to torture before they were killed. Prokopchuk, a preacher and deacon at a Pentecostal church in Nova Kakhova, was abducted along with his son by Russian soldiers from a garage near Kherson. According to reports, the bodies of the preacher and his son displayed signs of “prolonged and excruciating torture.” As per sources, at the time of abduction, Prokopchuk and his son were told by Russian soldiers that their church did not have the right to exist as it has links with the United States and other countries from the West.
Christian Today reports:
An evangelical church leader and his 19-year-old son have been found tortured and killed in Ukraine.
The bodies of Anatoliy Prokopchuk, 52, and his son, Oleksandr, were discovered in a forest four days after being abducted by Russian soldiers, reports Release International, a charity supporting persecuted Christians.
According to the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group and the Global Investigative Journalism Network, they were abducted by Russian soldiers at 7pm on 22 November while they were working in their garage near Kherson.
Prokopchuk was a deacon and preacher at a Pentecostal church in the nearby city of Nova Kakhova.
Pavel, a Release partner in Ukraine whose real name cannot be revealed for security reasons, said their bodies showed signs of “prolonged and excruciating torture”.
“They were so mutilated that it was difficult to identify them,” he said.
Prokopchuk leaves behind a widow, Irena, and five other children – four sons and a daughter.
Pavel remembered Prokopchuk as someone who had “helped many people in practical ways, enthusiastically and sacrificially, regardless of whether they were members of his church”.
It was reported that when the two were abducted, Russian soldiers told them, “Your church has no right to exist, as it has connections with America and other western countries.”
Pavel said this had echoes of the Soviet era, “For this ‘crime’ many thousands of evangelical Christians were put into prisons and concentration camps for many years. Many were tortured and killed.”
He asked for prayers for the family and forgiveness for the perpetrators.
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