“Pentecostals” or Christians of the Evangelical Faith (41.5)

KALUGA REGION. After I.P. Fedotov, the leader of the local congregation, was arrested and charged (CCE 36.8) persecution has not ceased of the Pentecostals who split away from the registered Baptist congregation. In the autumn of 1975 administrative commissions in Obninsk and Maloyaroslavets fined 14 believers 50 roubles each for holding an unregistered assembly in the village of Ilinskoye on 28 September 1975.

At one hearing of an administrative commission Alexander Ivanovich Pyzhov, a resident of Obninsk, was promised that he would share “Fedotov’s fate”. Fedotov himself is serving a 3-year term of imprisonment in an ordinary-regime camp in Penza. At the beginning of 1976 the camp administration applied to a court for permission to transfer Fedotov to a settlement, in view of his exemplary behaviour and the lack of any complaints about him. The Oktyabrsky district court in Penza, under Judge Pertseva, refused this application. The court expressed fears that Fedotov would exert a negative influence on those around him.

VINNITSA. On 15 June 1975 Alexandra Ivanovna Yaremchuk held a prayer-meeting for her 90-year-old mother in her home. Soon the police arrived, led by deputy district chief N.K. Nesterchuk. The mistress of the house was fined 50 roubles; her four guests were fined 25 roubles each.

BERDICHEV. I.P. Botsyan, presbyter of the unregistered Pentecostal congregation, has been fined more than once. In autumn 1975 the local press devoted a series of articles to the activity of this church: “Stop these Shameful Activities”, in the Sovetsky Put newspaper, 16 September 1975; “Oily Words and Black Deeds”, Sovetskaya Zhitomirshchina newspaper, 19 September 1975). KGB officer  N.V. Dyakin is threatening Presbyter Botsyan and deacon Durshpek with prison terms if the congregation is not registered.

STAVROPOL REGION. In December 1975 Presbyter Pavel Vasilyevich Syakov (from Inozemtsevo) was warned that he was being fined for the last time and would be put on trial in future.

ZHITOMIR REGION. In the village of Fyodorovka, Malininsky district, funerals have been broken up on three occasions. In the village of Suyentsy, Baranovsky district, there was a case of a religious wedding ceremony being broken up.

VINNITSA REGION. The following Pentecostal believers are among the prisoners in ordinary-regime camp IV 301/59: Nikolai Kabash, Anton Poganich, Pavel Bessarab, Yury Borka, Vasily Sonovchan, T. Shimon, Anatoly Vakulich, Vyacheslav Pasternatsky, Timofei Kondratyuk, Adam Zarivny, Pyotr Bogomaz, Nikolai Adamchuk, Nikolai Gavrilyuk, Nikolai Oscichuk, Denis Vatrich, Ivan Moldovan and Onufry Kogutanich.

ZHITOMIR REGION. Pyotr Zalevsky is serving his term in strict-regime camp IV 301/81. Dmitry Khodakovsky is in strict-regime camp YaYu 309/71.

ZHITOMIR. Stepan Adamovich Demyanchuk belongs to the local (unregistered) congregation. During the war he worked as an interpreter for the Germans and left with them. He settled in Belgium. A Soviet representative persuaded him to return to his homeland, promising him a pardon. In the USSR Demyanchuk was sentenced to death; after he had spent two months in a death-camp the sentence was commuted to 15 years’ imprisonment. In prison Demyanchuk became a believer. As a result he was sentenced to 5 years’ exile on religious charges.

At the beginning of 1976 pressure on the congregation increased. The newspaper Sovetskaya Zhitomirshchina published an article on “The God behind whom a Murderer Shelters”. The paper alleges that S. Demyanchuk participated in executions. At the end of January, speakers at a large assembly demanded reprisals not only against Demyanchuk, but also against the other Pentecostals, On 1 February another article was published in Sovetskaya Zhitomirshchina.

A new criminal case has been brought against Demyanchuk, for war crimes. The congregation has been asked to register. It has been given three months for reflection.