|Religious and Racial Discrimination Against Prominent Black Leader in Kiev, Ukraine.|
Chicago, Illinois,USA – August 24, 2012 - Recently, the international community rallied around Iranian Pastor, Yousef Naderkhani who was facing execution because of his Christian faith. It appears another case of discrimination against a Christian Pastor is ongoing – this time in Kiev, Ukraine.
On Tuesday, August 28, 2012, Sunday Adelaja, an African immigrant in Ukraine, who founded and leads what is considered the largest Evangelical church in Europe, has been asked to report to the police base to be detained without trials over unproven allegations of leading a criminal ring in Kiev. In a case that has been under investigation for four years without any evidence to support the allegations, many around the world believe these allegations are false and are motivated by racial and religious discrimination.
The charitable works of Sunday Adelaja has been featured in several news outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Washington Post, Reuters, Associated Press, CNN, BBC, The German, Dutch and French national televisions. Also, the former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushenko acknowledged his very visible and strong advocacy for democracy in Ukraine during the world-heralded Orange Revolution and after. His efforts in helping the underprivileged in Ukraine was seen to have drawn the attention of world leaders including the former President of the United States, Bill Clinton who invited him to the Clinton Global Initiative; former Mayor of New York City, Rudolph Giuliani, Israeli Prime Ministers, Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu and a host of others. Adelaja has also been accorded the privilege of opening a session of United States Senate with prayer, and to speak at the United Nations three times.
Over the years, Adelaja and the church he leads, because of their widespread influence in the nation, have continually been the subjects of unending politically and racially motivated attacks and threats. Many in the nation are uncomfortable, calling it a “national disgrace, that a black, African immigrant should lead such an influential organization in the nation, a congregation of tens of thousands with 99 percent being white Europeans and with many playing key roles in the nation’s social and political arena.
Approximately four years ago, Adelaja was accused of fraud by the Ukraine government in relation to a capital venture company (King's Capital) that went broke as a result of the global economic meltdown. In addition, several members of the church have also been arrested and unjustly imprisoned without a hearing for refusing to testify against Sunday Adelaja. An additional three were arrested on August 21, 2012.
After a year of pre-trial, following over three years of investigations, the Ukrainian government, due to lack of evidence, has been unable to proceed to trial. Having failed to take this case to trial, the Ukrainian government has now charged Adelaja with founding, managing and leading a crime syndicate. On Tuesday August 21, 2012, Adelaja was informed by the Ukraine government that these new charges will be brought against him and as a result have been ordered to come in on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 with the intent of having him placed under arrest.
Adelaja has consistently denied these charges. All evidence have also shown that though one of the principals of this bankrupt business organization, attended Adelaja’s church, Adelaja has had no interest or stake in the company and was never a part of it.
The members of the church and several in the international community of faith are calling on the Ukrainian Government to allow justice to prevail by either bringing the case to trial or to drop the unproven charges against Adelaja. They are also drawing on the attention of the international media, especially in the United States and Europe to spotlight the issue, in order to ensure transparency, fairness and justice in the trial. They believe global intervention is needed and that evidence so far indicates that Adelaja will not be given a fair trial (if any) because of his race and faith. A petition has been created on the online petition website ipetitions.com and can be found at this link: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/racial-and-religious-persecution-against-sunday.