Arsonic Attack on Chernobyl Church Fails to Prevent Christmas Celebrations

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE — A fire – called a desperate act of arson – didn’t stop the Church congregation in the village of Mlachivka – on the edge of the Chernobyl radiation “exclusion zone from holding a special service outside in the snow and bitter cold, as local firefighters and police looked on. Later, children received gifts, warm coats, and Bibles – part of an SGA-sponsored local church Gospel outreach called Immanuel’s Child.

Christian charity Slavic Gospel Association is rushing to the aid of a one-of-a-kind “church of compassion” targeted by arsonists in Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear fallout zone.

The only church in the village of Mlachivka was badly damaged by fire on Jan. 6, Christmas Eve in the region’s Russian Orthodox calendar.

Despite the attack SGA’s President Michael Johnson says they showed remarkable resilience the next day by continuing with their Christmas outreach and celebrations.

The emergency people were there, the fire people were there and the electricians were there. And they all stopped and praised God for the birth of His Son. They had a wonderful Christmas celebration and they were just a tremendous witness to everyone around. And so a couple of days later we do our Immanuel’s Child Celebration and the parents don’t have any money to give them Christmas gifts, so they were really looking forward to this as they do every year. There’s a great sense of anticipation because this is the Christmas event of that region.

And they really saw it for something that it is, that what man meant for evil God meant for good, and the church and the ministry has been lifted in a significant way.

And SGA is supporting the restoration of this vital church so they can continue their much needed ministry in this challenging region.

About Slavic Gospel Association

Founded in 1934, Slavic Gospel Association (SGA, helps “forgotten” orphans, widows and families in Russia, the former Soviet countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Russian-speaking immigrants in Israel – caring for their physical needs and sharing the life-transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ. SGA supports an extensive grassroots network of local evangelical missionary pastors and churches in cities and rural villages across this vast region.

CONTACT: Sheryl Sellaway, 404-695-5564,

Read more news on Non Profit / Faith Based Organizations, and Disaster Relief on Missions Box.

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