By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) - There was mounting concern Friday about the plight of devoted Christians in eastern Ukraine after pro-Russian separatists reportedly banned more Christian books.
The government of the Luhansk People’s Republic, which declared itself independent from Ukraine in 2014, added four Christian books to the official list of banned “Extremist Materials,” Worthy News learned.
A court in Luhansk ruled in May last year that the books seized from the Council of Baptist Churches in the city of Sverdlovsk were “extremist,” trial observers said.
Last month they were reportedly added to the list by the Luhansk Justice Ministry to “secure the safety of the Republic.”
“The latest addition means that there are 18 Christian works on the list of Extremist Materials,” said the Barnabas Fund advocacy group.
BILLY GRAHAM BANNED
Other books banned include a Russian version of the Gospel of John, a book by late evangelist Billy Graham and a book by a Baptist preacher and author C.H. Spurgeon.
We “pray that Christians living in this Russian-speaking region will not be crushed by the court ruling and will never feel abandoned,” Barnabas Fund told Worthy News.
It comes as a setback for Christians living in the war-torn area amid ongoing reports of shooting incidents.
More than 13,000 people were killed in fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists, according to several estimates.
The conflict erupted after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014.