• Pray for God's peace and reconciliation to overcome all hatred, conflict, and war.
• Pray for followers of Jesus to arise as messengers of His hope to the hopeless and the oppressed.
• Pray for repentance, forgiveness, and unity in the Church, across denominations and traditions.
The flat, fertile, forested lands of the Ukraine bridge the gap between eastern and western worlds. Before gaining its freedom in 1991, Ukraine was the most economically essential republic of the former Soviet Union aside from Russia, the rich, black soil generating more than twenty-five percent of Soviet agricultural output. Since becoming an independent state, the nation has struggled to take advantage of its economic potential, grappling with corruption and continued dependence on Russia for oil and gas. As the nation perseveres to step out from under the dark cloud of Communist rule, the wounds inflicted by decades of oppression are coming into view, and they are affecting future development.
During the seventy-one years of brutal Soviet rule, Ukraine endured two engineered famines in which an estimated 8 million died. The government strictly limited any attempts to develop Ukrainian culture, forbidding the study and use of the Ukrainian language. The nuclear meltdown of Chernobyl in 1986 continues to inflict environment damage, disease, and death. Many Ukrainians teeter on the precipice of poverty with the gap between the wealthy and poor growing yearly. Rates of AIDS cases and alcoholism are rapidly increasing, and there are an estimated 100,000 children living in orphanages, along with countless thousands living on the streets. The majority of these orphans will become involved in crime, drugs, or prostitution unless directly reached through strong intervention.
As the "Bible Belt" of the former Soviet world, the Ukrainian churches were heavily persecuted. The perseverance of believers through that oppression has paid off as there is a new spiritual ambition and vision that has not been seen before in Ukraine. Freedom of religion is improving, but it is not yet protected in both law and practice. There is a desperate need for leadership training and direction in the church, especially with the rapid growth of thousands of new congregations developing since 1991. Doctrinal schisms in the Orthodox church, as well as divisions between Catholic and Protestant believers, are limiting the church witness. Forgiveness toward Communist supporters and healing for the pain suffered during the reign of the Soviet Union have yet to take hold amongst the Ukrainian people, yet change is happening and God is moving in the Ukraine.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14
Source: Ukrainian Christian Song: Eduard Tkachuk
Capital City: Kiev
Major People Groups: 96% Slavic,
3% Other, 1% Turkic
Religion: 88% Christian, 11% Non, 1% Jewish
GDP Per Capita: $7,800
Literacy Rate: 99.4%