Anchorman: I agree with you. On a private level we also held a lot of broadcasts here. And in the church we always say that we are not only believers, but also citizens of our country, a father and a mother to someone, and we have to perform our civic duties, take part in the elections and influence our society. But all this is done on an individual is on a private level. Should the church should be an organized political movement?
Sunday Adelaja: I agree with you. The Church does not have to be like that. But the members of the church should be. For me, a church is not a building, it is people. A church as a building or an organization should not be involved in politics and business. So our church is not involved in business or politics, but the individual members of the church are certainly involved!
Anchorman: But when in the church the words in support of a political candidate are sounded, it becomes advertisement or promotion, does it not? At that moment the whole church takes part in politics.
Sunday Adelaja: Yes, it is possible. There is a person in our church who is running for Parliament. She came to service last Sunday. We brought her to the pulpit, prayed for her and blessed her, because she is a member of our church. Is it right or wrong? Let each church decide it for herself. In our church we believe that we can and should bless and support people. If anyone thinks it is wrong, I can show you where the Bible it mentions first Christians who held a home group in the palace of Caesar himself. They passed along greetings to those who were in the Ceasar’s palace. They used the Bible, the Holy Scriptures in order to write about politics, to pray and bless the one who leads a home group at the palace.
Paul spoke of Agrippa: Agrippa was a king and Paul spoke of Christ directly from the pulpit he preached. If God was not shy to do that, then we must also not be shy to do it. By the way, the United States of America, where you live, were established thanks to the active position of Christians.
Sunday Adelaja: In every church in USA they talk about politics, mostly Republicans, but they do. The entire country lives in this way.
Anchorman: Well, when we preach in Parliament or elsewhere in the higher structures it is different. I remember watching, long ago, you were invited to the U.S. Congress, and prayed before the meeting. Is that right?
Sunday Adelaja: In the Senate.
Anchorman: Yes, in the Senate, as part of the Congress. There is nothing wrong with that. But you prayed for Victor Yanukovych as a future President of Ukraine and said that it was from the Lord. I saw and heard your prayers. You directly promoted him! You said that you believed those people were the power of the Lord. You said that when they come to power, they would change this country. Then something went wrong. Our dreams and wishes crumbled to the ground. Maybe this is a lesson for us to keep our noses out of politics. You can vote privately for whom you want, you can pray for the authorities. But when we involve the whole church in politics, then it brings to disappointment. and even to persecution by the authorities. For example, you have been involved in cooperation with Leonid Chernovetsky, when he represented the city authorities. Now he is no longer in power and the church began to reap the fruits of work where work was not necessary. This is my opinion.
Sunday Adelaja: I agree with you. But it also brings a lot of good. Concerning Victor Yanukovych, I do not regret doing it. I support him not in the name of the Embassy of God Church. We prayed, and I said that I knew he would win. I knew he will become the President of Ukraine. It wasn’t just words, I had a reason to believe it. I am a spiritual person, I communicate with God. You can have your opinion about this: choose to believe it or not. I had three dreams in which I had seen, had the revelation that this man would be the next president of Ukraine, even though all believers were against him. Everyone thought it would not happen. I have received a revelation three times that he would be the next President and that we need to cooperate with him, as a large body of Protestant faith. If we had not done so, it would be worse not only for us, but for many other people. Even while being kept under judicial investigation by this government I still do not regret what we did, because I know that if we had not done it, things would be worse for us.
Anchorman: You have been given an award from the President. I’d like to read it out, may I?
Sunday Adelaja: Yes.
Anchorman: “Sunday Adelaja, I sincerely thank you for your participation in the Presidential campaign of 2010. Your selfless labour, awareness of duty and citizenship, manifested in the difficult conditions of the political opposition, were the main key to our victory. I highly appreciate your support and help, and hope for the successful continuation of our cooperation in the way of approval of Ukraine as a strong, prosperous nation, for the people of Ukraine” . You have accepted this commendation, can you comment on it?
Sunday Adelaja: Yes, I received such a commendation and not only from the current President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, but I also have a similar letter from the previous President VictorYushchenko. This is because our people really are active citizens. And, despite all the things that are happening right now, I want to remind all listeners that the current situation was not initiated by this government. It was started by Mr. Lutsenko (former Internal Affairs Minister), who was part of the previous administration, in which Yulia Tymoshenko was Prime Minister. Everything that is happening to us now is merely a continuation of what was started then. I have got certificates and commendations because, as I said, our people are actively involved in social and political life, and not as a church, but as citizens of Ukraine.
Anchorman: A few people received recognition in your church, including you. You received individual awards as leaders of the church.
Sunday Adelaja: Yes, It is true. Because they also comply with their civic duties.
Anchorman: Let us now talk about the King’s Capital company. Pastor Sunday, can I ask you, maybe unpleasant questions, but I have got a lot of listeners who want to hear the truth. Everyone is interested in what house or palace – people refer to it as your home palace – you live, and where did you get money to build a house. Many think that, for a pastor, you live in luxury.
Sunday Adelaja: This is a very good question. If you will come to Ukraine, I would like to invite you to my house.
Anchorman: You will accept me as a guest?!
Sunday Adelaja: Yes, yes, as a guest and as a journalist, you would have an opportunity to see how I live. However, before I got a house, no one noticed, when I was living with my wife and 3 children on the 20th floor, in a 2-room apartment, with mold on the walls and leaky ceilings. I lived there for 14 years, enduring all. And not because there was no other option. I lived there out of principal. As to the house where I live now: I would suggest that you do not trust the media so much.
Anchorman: But can I be trusted?
Sunday Adelaja: Can you be trusted? When you come and see for yourself, then it would be possible. I do not live in a palace. I do not live in a mansion, as saying. I built two large buildings with a total area of 2 thousand sq. meters. One of them is completely dedicated to the needs of the members of the church – this is the uniqueness of Pastor Sunday and the God Embassy Church. Many people do not understand that. Imagine, even now, as I speak to you, about 150 people live these. Ask the members of the God Embassy Church, any person can come and stay here for 3 days or more. My family and I live in on the top floor, in one of the apartments in this building. All other stories are given to people.
Anchorman: You know, this is great news for me! Indeed, I did not know that and I just have one simple question: why is this not on the air? Why hasn’t been covered in the news?
Sunday Adelaja: You can check on Youtube or on the site of the God Embassy Church right now, “The Secret Life of Pastor Sunday.” You’ll see interviews with people who live in my house. It’s all there.
Anchorman: Well, the interview is not the same thing as seeing…
Sunday Adelaja: I mean, the camera shows the house and the interviews of those who live there. There are several series.
Anchorman: You know, you mention this video, I have actually seen it, but I thought that it was yet another negative footage that tries to “expose” your secret life. I simply skipped over it, because there were so many videos against you, that I just said “enough”. It turns out that this is a positive movie, which unveils the “mystique” around you. Thank you, for bringing it to my attention and I will definitely take a look it.
I want to continue to talk about your relationship with the “King’s Capital.” The organizers of this company were or stayed parishioners of your church. As far as I know, from the last news, five of them are in custody. You are suspected of being involved in the financial schemes of “King’s Capital”. What do you think about the fact that you are still free? What relationship did you have with the leaders of this company?
Sunday Adelaja: I am not only suspected of being involved to this company, I believe to be the main suspect and I am being accused of forming a criminal organization. Those who were arrested, are allegedly, the people I personally involved in the company. According to the legal case against me they are not the leaders of the company, but Sunday Adelaja is, and they are merely victims. Therefore, the question is – if Sunday Adelaja is the main suspect, then why is he still at large, and those who are victims are in prison? It is clear, that one ought to find a base of evidence to connect Sunday to this. The whole country has been investigating this case for 3-4 years already and still can not prove my involvement in it. That is why I feel free now to to do this interview with you, and will have another interview soon. “The righteous are bold as lions”. God in heaven knows I was not involved in the creation or management of the company, especially financial companies, and so do people. Therefore, to prove it someone has to invent something. Of course, we live in a country of “wonders”, everything is possible here, but it is not that easy to prove something that has not happened, even if someone says that he proved it. You know, a lie can travel with a speed of 1,000 kilometers per hour, but the truth can overcome it in 5 seconds. The truth will always overcome any lie.
Anchorman: What kind of relationship did you have with “King Capital” leaders? Did you know each other well?
Sunday Adelaja: On the subject of the relationship with the leadership of the company King’s Capital, I want to repeat that this was not the only company in our church. There are over two thousand businesses that are owned by members of our church. The company “Kings Capital” was one of those companies. One of the founders of this company was actually a member of the church…
Anchorman: Who is this?
Sunday Adelaja: Alexander Safonov.
Anchorman: And the others were not members of the church?
Sunday Adelaja: No. The fact that there is another founder of the company – Alexander Bandurchenko. He was allegedly a member of another church in the Crimea “Word of Life” and graduated Ulf Ekman Bible school in Moscow. Then he arrived in Kiev to start a new business. He was a bank employee in the Crimea, and then moved to Kiev. When he came to this city he needed money. I know that now, but I did not at the time. He found Safonov, who was one of our youth ministers, and was known and respected, because he’s been a member of our church for over 10 years. He was not a businessman. But it turns out that they made an agreement: Bandurchenko convinced Safonov: “You bring in the people, as you know plenty of them, and you will have no problem with them. You bring those who will responsible for drawing the finances, and I will run the company. ” Therefore, the head of this company was not even the brother from our church (A.Safonov), but it was because of him that our people got into the company.
Translated by Helene Stohnii, Anna Krets, Valeria Granova
Edited by Natalia Ioffe