U.S. Missionary Kidnapped in Ukraine by Russian Forces

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Dmitry Bodyu, an American missionary and pastor of Word of Life Church in Melitopol, Ukraine, has been abducted from his home by Russian soldiers.

The incident happened last weekend, according to his wife, Helen. The 50 year-old preacher was taken by about 10 Russian soldiers. Helen told NBC News, “They came in, took our phones, and took him somewhere – I don’t know where."

His daughter, Esther Bodyu-Ogawa, also told the news outlet that the Russians took his father's passport after they asked him if he was American.

“We’re praying for him. And we’re praying that he’s strong. They just took him against his will. They walked in, and they just started kind of questioning him right away, like, ‘Are you guys American citizens?’ – that’s kind of, like, one of the first questions they had,” Bodyu-Ogawa said.

The pastor had provided shelter for some displaced persons affected by the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Melitopol, the city he was kidnapped from was where the mayor, Ivan Fedorov, was abducted by Russian soldiers. However, he later regained his freedom.

Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, spoke about the mayor in a speech last week.

“I talked to him (Fedorov) today. The Russian military abducted him on March 11, trying to persuade him to collaborate. But our man withstood. He did not give up. Just as we all endure. Just as we all do not give up. Because we are Ukrainians. And we always protect our own,” Zelensky said.

According to reports, there is a search for Bodyu.

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