Serbian evangelical church fire-bombed

By December 19, 2006

Serbia (MNN) — Christians world-wide are being asked to pray for the evangelical church in Serbia, as violence has disrupted their lives. Pastor Alexander Vitakic (VIH-tah-kich) from the Evangelical Church in Kraljevo, 100 miles south of Belgrade, spoke to MNN via cell phone.

“I don’t know exactly when, some people destroyed our window with a stone and then they put in a petro-bomb and set our premises on fire. It looks like a horror movie,” he says.

According to Vitakic, this isn’t the first time their church has been attacked. “In June, we experienced an attack on our church with stones, but this is much, much, much worse. We cannot believe that this could happen in our city and to our church.”

Another church about 50 miles north of Belgrade was also vandalized with rocks.

Vitakic believes he knows why evangelical churches are being targeted. “All the protestant churches and evangelical churches have been subject to a media smear campaign against us, orchestrated by some radical elements from the Orthodox Church (saying) that we are sects, that we are evil, that we are destroying Serbian identity.”

The reason for the attacks may be linked to the increasing number of people coming to Christ. Vitakic says this work was brand new a few years ago. “In a city of 100,000 with not a single evangelical believer, the church (has) grown. And now, we regularly have 50 to 60 people and very often 90 or more.”

Vitakic is asking people around the world to pray for safety and for their future. “It’s not even our premises, its premises that we are renting. Our land lady was in shock. So, she may tell us to leave,” he tells MNN. “Because of us, her own building and premises got damaged.”

Prayer is also needed for boldness. Vitakic says, “Our vision is to reach Central Serbia for Christ and we are committed to that vision.”

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