A group known as Stand with Sunday, Nigeria has alerted the Federal government and the International community on what it called the racial persecution and discrimination of Pastor Sunday Adelaja, General overseer of Embassy of God church in Kiev, Ukraine.
A statement signed by the group’s spokesperson, Temidayo Oriola said Pastor Sunday Adelaja an indigene of Idomila, Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, South West Nigeria, left the country on scholarship some years ago to study in Ukraine.
"He received a scholarship to study Journalism at the Belarussian State University, Minsk, Bylorussian, USSR, he got married took a job in Kiev where he eventually founded and became the Pastor of Embassy of God Church Kiev, Ukraine. This Church is acclaimed the largest Church in Ukraine Today"
The statement added that Adelaja’s dedication and hard work has resulted in the massive growth of the Church.
"Today, Embassy of God Church has more than 700 branches in over 45 nations and has been instrumental in starting over 300 rehabilitation centres for drug addicts and alcoholics situated all over Ukraine and Russia, 1000 to 2000 people are fed daily at the Church's Stephania Soup Kitchens in Kiev" the statement said.
As evidence of Pastor Adelaja's rising profile and goodwill, the statement added that..."Invitation from the former US President Bill Clinton to the Clinton Initiative, his meetings with the former Mayor of New York City, Rudolph Gulliani, Desmond Tutu, Koffi Annan, Richard Bronson and Nigeria's current Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as well as two Israeli Prime Ministers, Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu attest to his global reach and influence."
Speaking further, the group said four years ago, Pastor Adelaja was falsely accused of financial impropriety perpetuated by members of his church, which has resulted in the freezing of his accounts and seizure of his passport.
"Success inevitably begets envy and resentment breeds calumny from which even men of God are not immune. Pastor Adelaja four years ago became a victim of false accusations resulting in the seizure of his passport and freezing of his assets, yet in those four years the the prosecution has failed to proceed to trial. Obviously there is no evidence of any crime committed by Pastor Sunday Adelaja. Withholding his passport and freezing his assets for four years amounts to grave breach of his fundamental Human Rights."
The group therefore called on the Nigerian government and the International Community to intervene in the matter as the Ukranian government has refused to charge the matter to court in order to enable Pastor Adelaja defend himself.
It would be recalled that the Ukrainian Police have been investigating Pastor Adelaja since 2008 in connection with an investment firm run by members of his church.
The company collapsed as a result of the global recession at that time and authorities are accusing Adelaja of fraud and running a criminal enterprise.
Adelaja said neither he nor his leaders had any connection with the business and police have never produced evidence of a link.
He said five members of his church have been imprisoned without trial in an attempt to force them to testify against him.