Protestantism In Ukraine
Protestants in Ukraine number about 600 to 700 thousand (2007), about 2% of the total population. Nearly all traditional Protestant denominations are represented in the country. According to Christianity Today magazine, Ukraine has become not just the "Bible Belt" of Eastern Europe, but a "hub of evangelical church life, education, and missions". At present, the country is a key supplier of missionaries and center of evangelical training and press printing for all the countries of former Soviet Union, where legal environment is not so favourable.
Compared to Protestants and Evangelicals in Western Europe and the United States, Ukrainian faithful are considered to be more conservative and traditional, practicing a form of strict moral asceticism.
The earliest Protestants appeared in Ukraine in the 1530s and ‘40s. They were preceded by various pre-Reformation movements, like the Bogomils and Hussites.
The first Protestant commune (Anabaptists) was established in Volodymyr-Volynsk in 1536. In the 1540s, primarily among the nobles, Lutherans, then Calvinists and some others began their activity. In the first half of the 17th century, the Socinians were reported to operate. In the 17th century, Protestantism spread from Volhynia, Podlaskie, the Chełm region and western Ukrainian Galicia to Podillia, the Kiev region, and southwestern Ukrainian Transcarpathia.
Today the All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christian Baptists Church has nearly 150,000 members, the All-Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Christians (Pentecostal) claims about 105,000 members, and the Ukrainian Union of Seventh-day Adventists has nearly 40,000 members.
Some Ukrainian Protestants have emigrated to the United States and went on to take an important part in local social activities.
The Protestant Festival of Hope, with the participation of evangelist Franklin Graham, was held on July 6–8, 2007, and gathered more than 40,000 Ukrainians at the Olympic National Stadium in Kiev. Guests of the festival were able to hear testimonies of faith by well-known athletes, evangelical activists, and civil leaders. There were musical groups of various genres from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, and the United States. Satellite transmission of the festival was organized in 75 halls in the majority regions of Ukraine.
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