Dear friends, pastors, brothers and sisters, Peace be to you!

Hereby I would like to inform you of the following: The Address to congregations of Ukrainian Christian Evangelic Church, published December 20, 2012 on the official sites of the "Word of Life" church of Odessa, "New Life" church, Simferopol, and the "Word of Life" church of Lugansk is unauthorized according to the Statute of UCEC and is problematic for the following reasons:

1. In accordance with the Statute of the association (Religious Center UCEC) ONLY the Head of UCEC, which currently I am, has the right to make such statements / appeals to believers and churches of the UCEC. Thus, the appeal is incompetent and shows open contempt of the initiators to the legislation of Ukraine, to the statute of Ukrainian Christian Evangelic Church, the union leadership and the believers of UCEC.

2. A number of ministers who signed the Appeal, officially left the ministry positions in UCEC (namely, V. Rudoy, S. Zaitsev) , and one of them made a formal announcement of withdrawal from UCEC (I. Poteryakhin). For this reason they are not actually members of the Council of Bishops of UCEC. These facts, in addition to disrespect for the Ukrainian legislation and statutes of UCEC, display the willingness of the initiators of this " Address" by way of manipulation to try to influence the pastors, ministers and believers of UCEC as well as mislead representatives of the "Word of Life" Bible Center (Sweden) and "Word of Life International."

3. Statements made in this "Address" regarding allegedly committed "abuse of power and exceeding of commission by the Senior Bishop" and that "we have repeatedly tried to help Pastor Leonid Padun to see it to make the necessary changes" are not true and are far-fetched. It is evidenced by the minutes of meetings of the Council of Bishops of UCEC and Pastoral Council of "Word of life" church of Donetsk.

It should also be noted that the composition of the church Board was approved by the leadership of the "Word of Life" church (Sweden) at the beginning of 2010. The Board was given full authority in order that in cooperation with ministers and administration of the "Word of life" (Sweden) to raise and improve the organization, structure, operation, and culture in the Center in Donetsk and in UCEC. In view of the above the allegation of “being hindered in carrying out the necessary improvements” is inconsistent.

4. Ukrainian Christian Evangelic Church is a religious organization of local churches and other religious organizations. It was formed in 1993 and operates in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation on freedom of conscience and religious organizations. In legal and canonical aspects UCEC is independent of foreign religious centers. However since 1997 UCEC and the religious organizations it is comprised of, have been partners with the “Word of life" Center (Sweden), and other national "Word of Life" Centers in the context of a joint ministry to the Lord Jesus Christ. For many years in Ukraine UCEC has been active in interfaith organizations such as the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, Council of Christian Churches of Ukraine, Council of Evangelical Protestant Churches of Ukraine that promote preaching of the Gospel, consolidation of freedom of religion and morality in Ukrainian society.

5. At the backdrop of mine and the UCEC ministers meeting with the Center Leaders (Arthur Simonyan, Dennis Podorozny, Mats-Ola Ishoel), held on December 17, 2012 in Kiev, which has given hope to thousands of people for a dialogue and a peaceful resolution of the situation on the basis of the Gospel, the "Address" published December 20, 2012 on the official sites of "Word of Life" church of Odessa, "New Life", Simferopol, the "Word of Life" church of Lugansk is difficult to regard otherwise then a deliberate attempt by some Ukrainian minister brothers to derail the dialogue and efforts to resolve situation, destabilize and lead to further escalation of the conflict and schism in the Church.

Respectfully and in brotherly love,
Leonid Padun
Senior Bishop of UCEC