New York Boy’s Death Connected with Turchynov’s Church

I saw this piece in RUSVESNA, alleging that Oleksandr Turchynov’s “Word of Life” Church, is one and the same as the sect (allegedly) responsible for the death of a boy in an upstate New York town.

New Hartford in upstate New York, is near Syracuse

Here is the basic story, as told by CNN, if one can ever get by the ubiquitous popups and ads.  This is a very ugly story, involving the beating death of one teenaged boy, and severe injuries to another.

Fact-checking RUSVESNA’s allegation, I found this piece from the Washington Post, it’s a fluff piece praising Turchynov as a pious Baptist.  (In Ukraine, Turchynov is often referred to as “The Pastor”.)

The money quote is this one:

Those past fumbles could spell trouble for the interim president, said Fesenko. Turchynov’s faith — he leads a church called Slovo Zhizni, or “Word of Life” — may be an asset that separates him from the East-West division in the country. But it could become a handicap if the tide of opinion turns against him, too. There are an estimated 135,000 Baptists in the Ukraine out of 45 million people.

Equating Turchynov’s “Word of Life” sect with all 135K Baptists in Ukraine might not be fair, I suspect.  But this name of his church does connect Turchynov with the five families in the upstate New York story, who are responsible for the sad and brutal death of that young boy.

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11 Responses to New York Boy’s Death Connected with Turchynov’s Church

  1. Johan Meyer says:

    Then there’s Sunday Adelaja and Leonid Mykhaylovych Chernovetskyy of Orange (the fruit) Revolution fame. Long fingers Yoruba fellow who looks Igbo is just trying to be a good oligarch hitching his wagon to the Banderite movement patriotic Ukrainian citizen. Multicultural Banderism—who knew?


    • yalensis says:

      Dear Johan:
      Wow, I didn’t know about this fellow, thanks for the info. It seems like there are often charistmatic African figures involved in these crazy sects. For example, a while back I read about a fellow named Thomas Muthee , who was apparently spiritual advisor to Sarah Palin, and even baptised her. His sect is apparently a combo of the usual “end of the world” type operations, plus a cargo sect, which worships money. Their shtick is that when “Jesus returns”, he (=Jesus) will set up an absolute monarchy, with himself as King of the World; but that he will appoint members of this sect to divvy up all the world’s resources and people and rule, each over his own area, like an unelected Lord, with absolute powers. Hence, anybody who wants to get in on this, has to join his sect NOW, before the Second Coming. Limited Time Officer.

      It goes without saying that these sub-Saharan African “preacher” types, in addition to preaching wacky religion, are also closely tied in with the political establishment of the ruling Empire.
      Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me that the Ukrainian Banderites can be “multi-cultural” when it suits them.


      • Johan Meyer says:

        In some respects, these cargo-sects (prosperity Gospel) are the bastard offspring of Calvinism—the closeness to the diety brings wealth. But they (and the so-called ‘non-denominational’ hyper-protestants, who at least arrange for social support for poor alienated people) are notorious for promoting escapism in their practices to an extent that would produce protest in more mainstream churches, while demanding that everyone in their congregations give a literal tithe (10% of income) to their churches. Thus people like Adelaja have money to blow. The wiki was edited—he had spent the money accumulated in his church on the investment scheme, which he himself had promoted to his congregation, and at one point he was down to a congregation of two thousand, down from a peak of twenty thousand (in Kiev).


        • Cortes says:

          Central America is chock full of such churches. Very sad.


          • Johan Meyer says:

            I’m of the view that it is very much a consequence of my hobby horse, infant lead poisoning. I’d hazard a guess that such churches are least well represented in Brazil, second least in Colombia, and third least in Mexico, on this basis, as Brazil was first, Colombia second, and Mexico third in banning leaded gasoline—bans in 1989, 1991 and 1994 respectively. Africa had a continent-wide ban in 2006, but leaded paint remains a problem there.


  2. Cortes says:

    Just coincidence of name, I suspect.

    Garrison Keillor has an essay “Protestants” which fillets the exclusivist mindset of much of Uncle Samland. Applies in the case referred to in the Grauniad story.

    Poor kid.


    • yalensis says:

      Dear Cortes,
      Really, you don’t think this NY sect is connected to Turchynov’s?
      RUSVESNA made the connection, if there actually is no connection, then RUSVESNA is being unfair, or jumping to conclusions.
      I certainly don’t want to propagate unfair/incorrect information, I did make at least feeble attempt to fact-check, but there just wasn’t much out there.


  3. Jen says:

    According to Wikipedia. Oleg Turchynov is an elder at the Word of Life Center which is part of the Evangelical Baptist Union of Ukraine. This is definitely part of the Baptist group of churches.

    The Word of Life Church is a non-denominational church based in Missouri.

    There is also a Word of Life Christian Church in New York which started out as a Pentecostal church and which is unrelated to the Word of Life Church and Oleg Turchynov’s church community. It was at this WoLC Church in New York where the teenager Lucas Leonard was beaten by members of the congregation after he said he wanted to leave.

    Baptists and Pentecostals are very, very different in their beliefs: Baptists (or at least those not of the Southern Baptist Convention persuasion) generally hew close to traditional mainstream Protestantism and are not usually considered fruitcake fundamentalist; whereas Pentecostals are more literal in their beliefs, believe the Bible is inerrant and should be interpreted narrowly, and hold that the Holy Spirit manifests itself in individuals by causing them to speak in languages they don’t know or giving them the ability to heal or to prophesise. Fundamentalism and Pentecostals tend to go hand in Bible-thumping hand.

    Obviously if you don’t know the difference between Baptists and Pentecostals, and you live in a place where neither group is very common (as in Russia and Ukraine), you will find all these different Word of Life groups very confusing.


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