Dear Friends and Colleagues in the Kingdom of God and in the field of theological education, greetings. I would like to share with you a word from Oleksii Melnychuk, the president of Donetsk Christian University (Ukraine), which was occupied by the armed group of Pro-Russian separatists.
Since Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and other cities north of Donetsk have been freed from pro-Russian separatists, Donetsk has become the stronghold of the separatists bands of armed soldiers in the region. A group of approximately 2,000 armed soldiers entered the city of Donetsk and have occupied the dormitories of universities, schools and hotels.
On July 9 a group of armed individuals from the separatists Pro-Russian group, named “Oplot”, came to Donetsk Christian University (hereafter known as DCU) and demanded that we vacate the university’s student dormitory for their use. By the end of the day they brought a written directive from the their leader stating that they are taking possession DCU building(s) for temporary use to be given back to DCU when the war ends.
We have been advised that disagreement with their demands will be severely punished. Although DCU leadership explained that the university is a religious organization and that its property should not be used for war purposes the argument did not help.
Staff members and all students have evacuated. The Ukrainian government issued special instructions on how to avoid provoking terrorists to kill or imprison people that our staff has tried to follow.
The separatists promised to turn Donetsk into the second Stalingrad, what they so far, unfortunately, have successfully doing. Thousands people are leaving Donetsk every day because of the war. All workers and faculty members had to flee from the campus leaving most of their belongings at Donetsk Christian University, which has one of the best Protestant theological libraries in the former Soviet Union…
Currently these people of DCU, which are very dear to my heart, need very much your prayerful and, if possible, financial support until they find a new place for living and a new job. It may take a couple of months… I spent eleven years at DCU: three years as a student of theology, and eight years in various capacities as a chief librarian,a professor and an academic dean.
Please pray for the peace in Ukraine and Jerusalem…
Wishing you all the best from the Lord,