Monday, July 15, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, March 26, 2022
Russians Kidnap Pastor with Hawaii Ties
By Selected News Articles @ 4:52 PM :: 2606 Views :: World News, Religion

Ukrainian American missionary with Hawaii Ties allegedly kidnapped by Russian forces

NBC News March 24, 2022 (excerpts)

… The wife of an American pastor said Russian forces kidnapped her husband by last week in Melitopol, a city of 150,000 in Ukraine's south.

Speaking by phone from Melitopol, Helen Bodyu said she and her family watched as her husband, Dmitry Bodyu, 50, was taken by about eight to 10 troops Saturday morning.

The Bodyu family has not heard from him since he was taken, Helen Bodyu and their daughter, Esther Bodyu-Ogawa, said, and word of his kidnapping took days to become public because the city was captured by Russia and the troops confiscated the family's cellphones and other devices.

"They just came in in the morning," Helen Bodyu said. "They took our phones, gadgets, computers, documents — and took him somewhere. I don’t know where."…

The Russian troops were not aggressive, she said, and she could not hear what they were saying as she waited in the living room and they spoke to her husband in the kitchen.

She added that the Russian troops seemed to know he was a pastor and confiscated his U.S. passport….

Bodyu is pastor of Word of Life Church in Melitopol, where he urged residents to seek shelter shortly after the Russian invasion.

Bodyu-Ogawa said her family told her that the troops vaulted a wall around their home before the entered.

“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,” she said.

The troops looked through Dmitry Bodyu’s social media postings before they took him, she said.

Bodyu-Ogawa, who is 30 and lives in Hawaii, said she is "shocked" that her father was targeted.

"All he's doing is just helping such a huge amount of people that were hiding in the church, which was, like, over 50 people," she said Thursday morning. "And he was feeding all of them, too, throughout this whole situation."

She and her family have theories about why their father was targeted for abduction. It could be because of their family business holdings in local restaurants, she said.

"It could be because we're American citizens. It could be because he's, you know, a big influencer. A lot of people follow him and really want to know what he's preaching about and what he's telling people, making sure he's not, like, talking about Russia and trying to tell people, 'Yes, this is a bad thing.'

"I know they were going through all of his preaching videos, because that's what they told my mom when they came back on Monday, to bring all their computers and phones back," she said.

The troops also came back to get a Bible and a sleeping bag, but otherwise the family has heard nothing from Dmitry Bodyu.

"We're just hoping for the best, and we're praying for him, and we're praying that he's strong," Bodyu-Ogawa said….

read … Ukrainian American missionary allegedly kidnapped by Russian forces


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii