On behalf of the Union of Evangelical Christians – Baptists (UECB), I am expressing concern that, against the backdrop of social tension, the public speeches of some officials and journalists are leading to tension among people, inciting sectarian strife, and as a result, attempts to commit acts of terror against us.
In an interview dated on 02/02/2020, given by governor Bogomaz, of the Bryansk region, false accusations were made against the Baptists of the city of Bryansk in spreading a coronavirus infection which can now be viewed on YouTube as well. These statements contain information that does not correspond to reality if the situation and discredits the reputation of our Churches.
On the night of April 7, an attempt was made to set fire to the UECB Church in St. Petersburg (on 27 Bolshaya Ozernaya Street).
I believe that mentioning (in the media) the nationality or religious affiliation of those who had a positive coronavirus test is dangerous and unacceptable. As a doctor, I know that there is medical privacy; as a pastor, I keep the same privacy with confession. I constantly work on building peace in our society, which is filled with misunderstandings, grief, disagreement, and conflict.
Evangelical Baptist Christians have always advocated harmonization and good relations between different nationalities and faiths.
The UECB is extremely concerned about this situation. We believe that in the current complex social environment, the dissemination of inaccurate information stimulates hatred and religious intolerance in our society.
We ask you to assist in the protection of evangelical believers in Russia and the prevention of incorrect performances in the media.
God bless you!
With a prayer for the prosperity and spiritual awakening of Russia,
Pastor Peter Mitskevich, UECB President