Pennsylvania Christian Right Activist Discusses Ukraine

The Reading Eagle (Pennsylvania) reports on address given by Samuel E. Rohrer, “president of both the American and Pennsylvania Pastors Networks” to members of the Berks County Patriots. Rohrer – a former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives – discussed his involvement with Ukraine:

Rohrer… spent two day in a hotel in Kiev in June leading a summit aimed at ensuring Christian beliefs and values are paramount in creating a new Ukraine.

The summit was attended by 85 Ukrainian pastors and 15 members of Ukraine’s parliament. The group crafted a list of recommendations that was passed along to the country’s president.

Rohrer and fellow American pastor David Barton, speaking through translators to the Ukrainians, shared lessons of America’s creation as an example of how to create a free nation based on biblical principals [sic].

This received some attention at the time. In June, Glenn Beck announced that Barton had been asked to advise “the main people in the government” in “a former Soviet state”; for some reason, Beck avoided saying which country (and even slipped into the plural), but it was always very likely to be Ukraine.

This was confirmed a few weeks later, when Barton discussed his visit to Ukraine on James Dobson’s radio show. Right Wing Watch noted at the time:

Since returning to America, Barton revealed that he has been contacted by several other members of the Ukrainian government, asking him to return and deliver his presentation to the entire parliament, as well as from government leaders in neighboring nations who want him to come and present his message there as well.

Meanwhile, Rohrer’s APN produced a press release:

Key leaders of the American Pastors Network… recently returned from an International Leadership Summit in Ukraine, working with and encouraging pastors and elected leaders there who are making a concerted effort to embrace American ideas to restore the country.

Earlier this spring, APN was invited to the summit by Presiding Bishop Valery Reshetinsky, who also serves as the Chairman of the Ukrainian Interchurch Council that represents 20 different evangelical denominations. Reshetinsky wrote that pastors and officials attending the summit were “excited about what the American Pastors Network can do to help our government and pastoral leaders at this time of great need in our nation. It is our hope… that Almighty God hears the prayers of His people in Ukraine and around the world and permits us to govern ourselves not in corruption but through biblical principles.”

…Gary Dull of Faith Baptist Church of Altoona, Pa., and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network… also traveled to Ukraine for the summit and said the participation of pastors and political leaders at the summit truly shows their desire to build a nation and a government on biblical principles.

A few further details were provided by Emmanuil, a Ukrainian Christian TV station. Their report names two politicians who were involved: Alexander Bryhynets MP (var. Alexander Briginets) and Pavel Unguryan, who is an enthusiast for TBN. Another local speaker was Borys Oliynyk, a distinguished poet. There was also a TV report, with footage, from CNL News. The PPA placed a video Barton’s presentation on YouTube in September.

Also in September, Charisma had a follow-up:

Earlier this month APN unveiled its special “Ukraine Initiative: Out of the Ashes | Freedom Reborn” website at ukraineinitiative.com, a centralized place for Ukraine updates and ongoing projects. Key to APN’s current efforts is providing humanitarian aid, and APN’s International Projects Coordinator, pastor Dale Armstrong, has traveled to Ukraine numerous times over the past few months. After his time there, APN has committed to meeting some of the most immediate and crucial humanitarian needs, including water-purification tablets, QuikClot Bandages, which help stop bleeding quickly, and individual medical kits for soldiers.

Long-standing US evangelical interest in Ukraine (noted here by Bill Berkowitz) is one reason why US conservatives are currently split over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, with some admiring Putin’s family values authoritarianism.

Beck – who is particularly close to Barton – has recently come out swinging against the Putin regime, although with trademark incompetence:

Examples of Putin attempting to appeal to the Orthodox Church: Moscow State University received the largest scientific grant ever, $19 million, to fund a project called Noah’s Ark…

Beck is here referring to an ambitious plan to create a comprehensive DNA depository. As RT reported last month:

“I call the project ‘Noah’s Ark.’ It will involve the creation of a depository – a databank for the storing of every living thing on Earth, including not only living, but disappearing and extinct organisms. This is the challenge we have set for ourselves,” MSU rector Viktor Sadivnichy told journalists.

It’s clear that there is no religious element to the project, and that “Noah’s Ark” is simply a bit of shorthand.

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