Ukrainian has more interest in Bible because of conflict


Eastern Europe


The Bible gets more weight for Ukrainians. Photo EPA, Sergey Dolzhenko

Tensions increase at the Russian-Ukrainian border; so does the need for Bibles among Ukrainians, says Anatoliy Raychentets, Assistant Secretary-General of the Ukrainian Bible Society.

Both the pandemic and the conflict with Russia have led to more Ukrainians seeking faith and the Word of God, says Raychentets to Norge Kristelig Pressekontor KPK. “We experience that people suddenly start to think about faith and eternal values. More and more people ask for a Bible”, he notices.

Covid-19 has hit Ukraine heavily. In November, the country dealt with 1,000 Covid deaths per day; right now, that number remains at 200 daily deaths due to Covid.

In addition, Ukraine has a conflict with Russia, which annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. In addition, Russian-backed separatist forces took control of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the same year.

Uncertainty seems to have aroused a spiritual need in many Ukrainians. The Bible Society constantly meets priests and pastors from Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical churches who pick up Bibles. “They say that not only the services on Sunday are busier, but also the weekly Bible lessons and prayer times”, Raychenets says.

Best gift from the front

The number of Bibles that the Bible Society had planned to distribute in 2020 and 2021 was only enough for 4 to 5 months. The organisation has asked the Norwegian Bible Society to see whether it is possible to receive more Bibles.

Raychenets sees that “The Blue Children’s Bible” is highly sought after, also among soldiers at the front line. “Some of them ask for an exemplar for themselves, and others want to send it home to their children”, he says. “One of the soldiers wanted two children’s Bibles, so he could send one home and read the other one with the children over the phone. Another soldier told me it was the best gift he could send home from the front.”

The role of the Bible Society has increased because of the tensions in the country. The Minister of Defence asked the organisation to write an inquiry to all Ukrainians. “He said that research had shown him that the population trusts the churches the most.”

Ukraine has a rich diversity of church denominations. Several Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical churches are established in the country. Nevertheless, the Soviet-era has marked Ukraine, and many people have grown up without any knowledge of Christianity.



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