The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
About 160,000 Christians gathered in Kiev. Evangelicals are “grateful for the opportunity and freedom to share the Good News in Ukraine today”.
The central Maidan square in Kiev was the meeting point for Christians coming from all over Ukraine to celebrate Jesus together as they commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
The celebration, on September 17th, gathered about 160,000 people, most of them members of evangelical churches.
Earlier, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, had signed an order to recognise the anniversary of the Reformation.
“DOORS ARE WIDE OPEN TODAY IN UKRAINE”
Music, Bible messages and other speeches were part of the event.
Ksusha Bondnarenko, a Christian in the country, shared her thoughts on her Facebook profile: “My heart is grateful for the opportunity and freedom to share the Good News in Ukraine today”.
“The doors that once were closed are wide open today. Evangelical Christians from all over Ukraine were able to praise the Lord for His blessings, but also to share the Good News with their friends and relatives”.
She added: “I can’t really describe how great it was. I pray that it will help us to understand that we have no right to hide the Light”.
POLITICAL AND FINANCIAL CRISIS IN THE COUNTRY
The meeting point for the celebrations was the same square in Kiev in which thousands protested against corruption some years ago.
The country is still going through a deep crisis. “Ukraine is still in the midst of war”, Christian worker Sergey Rakhuba told CBN News. “Eastern Ukraine and territories are still occupied by Russian or pro-Russian separatists. Crimea was annexed by Russia. So yes, Ukraine is struggling politically and economically”
But “Ukraine is striving today spiritually, pleading to God to bless that nation”.
OTHER CELEBRATIONS ACROSS EUROPE
Celebrations such as this one in Kiev have happened in several other European countries throughout 2017. In France, evangelical Christians gathered for a week of activities and a big celebration in Le Havre.
In Spain, thousands met in Madrid for a congress, concerts and a festival in the centre of the city.
In Switzerland, Christians distributed 500,000 copies of a “Reformation newspaper”.