Ukraine (MNN) — A Ukrainian pastor, Alexander Salfetnikov, was abducted by Russian soldiers on May 17 in the Kharkiv region. He is the pastor at the Light of the Gospel Evangelical Church in the town of Balakleya.
Despite heavy fighting in the area, he stayed behind to take care of those who cannot flee. Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA says, “So over a week ago now, [he was] detained by Russian troops and apparently injured. We don’t know if he was injured while in detention. But reportedly he is under medical care, and is still being held by the Russian troops.”
Fighting in the Kharkiv region took a turn earlier this month when Ukrainian troops pushed the Russian military all the way back to the border.
The city of Kharkiv is safe from shelling at the moment, but many people in outlying towns still live in their basements. Nettleton says, “Salfetnikov was in the part that is most being affected by the Russian invasion. Yet he chose to stay there because he wanted to serve his flock. He wanted to serve Christ. I think we can pray for other believers to have that same selfless courage to put aside their own safety and maybe their own wishes.
“He believed the important right now is serving the Lord and serving his people.’”
Pray for Salfetnikov’s release, as well as the safety of his wife and son-in-law, whose whereabouts are unknown.
The header photo shows Pastor Alexander Salfetnikov during a service. (Photo courtesy of The Voice of the Martyrs USA on Facebook)