On Sunday,17th September, a huge crowd of evangelical believers, estimated at well over 160,000 (some estimates gave the figure of 500,000) gathered in the central square of Kiev, Ukraine to celebrate the Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary and to thank God for His faithfulness in their country. Many travelled from all four provinces to be part of the celebration, to thank God for the freedom to worship, and the freedom to preach the Gospel in their country and celebrate God’s faithfulness.” Though only a small part of the 43 million population (usually estimated at 2-3%) evangelical churches in the Ukraine became a driving force to serve the million-plus internally displaced refugees following the Russian-supported uprising in the East. Consequently, people are seeing the church as a group actively seeking the country’s good. In October 2014 Ukraine went to the polls, which led to four evangelicals being elected to Parliament.
Pavel Unguryan, one of the four, stated, “Since God has entrusted me with this office, I ask you to pray He will give me wisdom as I lead a prayer group within the walls of parliament. It is a perfect opportunity for politicians to get united around Jesus, and to implement His principles through relevant laws, government policies, and sincere concern for the people of Ukraine.” The crowds on the streets of Kiev on September 17th was in response to a decree signed by Ukraine’s President Poroshenko in which he lead the nation to celebrate the anniversary of the Reformation at the highest possible level. Regardless of political motives, this order has had a number of positive effects. Firstly, it has opened doors for sharing the gospel, especially in public schools and universities. Each institution is obligated to hold lectures on the Protestant Reformation, and many are open to having Protestant ministers or professors speak on these topics. Second, the order has further unified the evangelical church. Many anniversary related projects are being planned by a wide variety of cooperating evangelical churches.
Source: Slavic Gospel Association; The Gospel Coalition
Bible Study: Psalm 98:1-6
DECEMBER PRAISE God for the openness shown by the President and the opportunities it provides.
PRAY the Ukraine church will take full advantage of the favour shown during this Reformation anniversary year, and for much fruit in the nation.