Accessibility setting

Search

Select language

Skip to secondary menu

Skip to content

Jehovah’s Witnesses

English

FEBRUARY 13, 2015
UKRAINE

Seizure of Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions of Ukraine

Seizure of Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions of Ukraine

Donetsk Region

HORLIVKA—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • At the end of June 2014, armed men broke into the Kingdom Hall, stole electronic equipment, and installed new locks. They use it as their barracks.

Town of Horlivka 75 Akademika Koroliova St.

HORLIVKA—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • On July 5, 2014, armed men seized the Kingdom Hall. They used it as their barracks and as a place to store ammunition but abandoned it in September 2014. The Witnesses returned and used the Kingdom Hall for their religious meetings.

  • On October 12, 2014, armed men interrupted a religious service at the Kingdom Hall and ordered all in attendance to stop their religious activities. They stated that the Orthodox religion was the only religion permitted in the region and that they would soon “get rid of all of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” The men use the Kingdom Hall as their barracks.

City of Donetsk 10 Karamzina St.

DONETSK—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • On August 13, 2014, armed men broke into the Kingdom Hall and began using it as their barracks.

  • On August 19, 2014, the men stole the sound equipment and vacated the building. The Witnesses returned and again started using the Kingdom Hall for their religious meetings.

  • On October 18, 2014, after a religious service, representatives of the Fourth Oplot Battalion went to the Kingdom Hall and announced to the Witnesses present that they were seizing it.

  • On November 18, 2014, armed men demanded that the Witnesses sign papers transferring ownership of the Kingdom Hall to the Commandant’s Office of the Petrovskyi and Kirovskyi District. The men use the building as their barracks.

Town of Horlivka 4 Hertsena St.

HORLIVKA—Kingdom Hall seized by civilians.

  • On September 30, 2014, a local TV station interviewed the “new owner” of this Kingdom Hall, who stated that it had been seized from Jehovah’s Witnesses for use as a boxing school. Since 2013, this Kingdom Hall has been the object of repeated vandalism and arson attacks. The last attempted arson took place on June 5, 2014.

DONETSK—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • On October 26, 2014, armed men from the Shakhtar Battalion of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) broke into the Kingdom Hall and now use it as their barracks.

Town of Zhdanivka 14 Komsomolska St

ZHDANIVKA—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • On October 27, 2014, referring to a commandant’s order, men of the Horlivka armed group seized the Kingdom Hall. The Horlivka Deputy Commandant stated that the Orthodox religion is the only religion permitted in the region and that all others are forbidden.

  • On November 21, 2014, the squad commander of another armed group took control and told Jehovah’s Witnesses that his subordinates would now take charge of the Kingdom Hall.

Village of Telmanove 112 Pervomaiska St.

TELMANOVE—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • On November 4, 2014, armed men broke into the building and placed it under armed guard.

  • On December 11, 2014, the men brought ammunition into the building and now use it as their barracks.

Town of Makiivka 17 Pecherska St.

MAKIIVKA—Kingdom Hall seized by militia but later abandoned.

  • On November 5, 2014, armed men from the Rus Battalion broke into the Kingdom Hall. They ordered the Witnesses to give them the keys to the hall and never to return. The following day, the commander’s deputy removed the Kingdom Hall sign and replaced it with the battalion’s flag.

  • On November 26, 2014, the battalion abandoned the building.

HORLIVKA—Kingdom Hall seized by militia but later abandoned.

  • On November 29, 2014, armed men entered the Kingdom Hall and announced to the Witnesses present that they were seizing it. One of the men stated that the DPR government would permit only the Orthodox religion in the region. The men placed the building under armed guard and forbade the Witnesses to return. The next day, the men abandoned the building.

Town of Zuhres 1 Cherniakhovskoho St.

ZUHRES—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • On December 20, 2014, the town’s commandant announced that he was seizing the building. He ordered Jehovah’s Witnesses to give him the keys to the hall and never to return.

DONETSK—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • On February 1, 2015, armed men entered the Kingdom Hall. They demanded that the Witnesses hand over the keys to the Kingdom Hall and sign papers transferring ownership of the Kingdom Hall to the militia for the duration of the war.

YENAKIEVE—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • On March 3, 2015, armed men demanded that Jehovah’s Witnesses hand over the keys to the Kingdom Hall so that it could be used as barracks.

Luhansk Region

Town of Antratsyt 4 Komunarska St.

ANTRATSYT—Kingdom Hall seized by civilians.

  • Twice in September 2014, unknown individuals broke into the Kingdom Hall. They stole electronic equipment and wrote on the wall, “Orthodox Cossacks!”

  • On September 25, 2014, a local TV channel reported that the Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been seized to serve other purposes, such as kindergartens.

Town of Rovenky 84-A Dzerzhynskoho St.

ROVENKY—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • On September 23, 2014, armed men from the St. George Battalion broke into the Kingdom Hall and forbade the Witnesses to return. The armed men use it as their barracks.

PEREVALSK—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • On November 5, 2014, armed men led by the Deputy Chief of the Military Commandant’s Office entered the building and announced to the Witnesses present that they were seizing it for use as a dining hall. The deputy chief stated, “It’s all over for Jehovah’s Witnesses.” He then told the Witnesses that they would no longer be able to engage in their religious activity.

Town of Krasnyi Luch 37 Radianska St.

KRASNYI LUCH—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • On December 5, 2014, armed men broke into the Kingdom Hall. They placed the building under armed guard and parked military vehicles in the yard.

BRIANKA—Kingdom Hall seized by militia.

  • On March 26, 2015, armed men broke into this Kingdom Hall. They took all the furniture in the building and replaced the Kingdom Hall sign with one that read, “The Almighty Don Host.”