Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Drunken Attack on Russian Protestant Pastor and His Assistant to Be ‘Examined In Detail’ By Interreligious Group

By Victoria Uzunova of the Christian Telegraph (  
Special to ASSIST News Service

ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (ANS) -- A recent vicious attack on a Russian pastor and his assistant, is now to be investigated in detail by an interreligious group.
Illustration from

Sergey Konstantinov, pastor of the Mission Good News affiliated church, and his assistant were attacked in the Leningrad Region in Russia on Saturday, June, 30, 2012, according to Dimitri Shatrov Jr., the church’s Senior Pastor.

The incident occurred early in the morning when morning prayers were being said in the church, he says.

According to a report received by The Christian Telegraph (, two cars drove up to the church building and “more than ten drunken young men tried to enter and were shouting outrages against its ministers and activities.”

The report went on to say, “They then began to beat the leaders of the congregation. After the pastor and his assistant had sheltered themselves in the church building and locked the doors, the hooligans began to smash windows and pastor’s car.”
According to Mr. Shatrov, the young hooligans demanded the cessation of church activities and he said that the out-of-control group, broke one of the pastor’s ribs and also a collarbone.

Dan Wooding speaking some years ago at Dimitri Shatrov's church in St. Petersburg
The Church of Evangelical Christians in the Spirit of the Apostles opened in 1914 in St. Petersburg. Because of repression, the church did not hold services from 1932 to 1953. In 1990 it was renamed as the Mission Good News Church.

Now I have learned that the attack will be discussed by the Presidential Council on the Interaction with Religious Associations’ Commission on Harmonization of Interethnic and Interreligious Relationships.

“We follow the state of interreligious relationships in the country, and this wild incident that happened will be examined in detail,” said Sergey Ryahovsky, the Supervisory Bishop of the Union. “Obviously the fomentation of religious discord took place but not in the form of simple hooliganism.”

Mr. Ryahovsky underlined that law system reacted efficiently: the claims were taken, the victims were removed, and several suspected were already questioned.

Victoria Uzunova is a correspondent for the Christian Telegraph ( ), a unique Christian news service partnering with the largest Christian News Agency in Russian language InVictory News ( which is one of few news gateways of what is happening in Christianity in such former USSR countries as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Georgia and others.

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