Authorities in the unrecognized Luhansk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine have banned 12 books, including a popular translation of the Gospel of John, calling them "extremist" materials. The November 26th ban came a week after the Luhansk Supreme Court overturned a ruling ordering the destruction of books belonging to a Baptist pastor. Along with the Gospel of John, the banned books include the main hymnbook used by the Council of Churches Baptists, a regular magazine published by the church group, as well as children's books.
The region of Luhansk was seized by pro-Russian rebels in 2014 and declared autonomy from Ukraine. The rebel administration has banned freedom of religion and belief except for those granted permission from the authorities. More information on the worship ban in the region is available here.
Prayerfully uphold the Christians of this region, as they now must contend with the oppressive regulations. Ask God to grant each of these believers wisdom and favour in their dealings with governing authorities. May their churches find effective ways to continue spreading the Good News of the Gospel to those around them -- including the opposing officials who are in need of eternal salvation.