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There is a division in the Ukraine. Those from the West speak
Ukranian, those from the East speak Russian. The Russian speakers have a
culture that is more similar to Russia,
so many of them consider themselves Russian, basing their identification on
language and culture rather than ethnicity.
What are their lives like?
Most have come to the United States hoping for a better
life. Many were impoverished in the Ukraine
and believe the United
States to be a land of opportunity. Many
women have come as mail-order brides because that was their only hope of
receiving a visa. Others have come on a green card lottery visa, student visa,
or business visa. Young professionals are typically able to succeed but people
with limited English often struggle to find work.
What do they believe?
Most are Ukranian Orthodox, which is a strand of Greek
Orthodox. There are not specifically Ukranian Orthodox churches so many would
attend a Greek Orthodox church or any other Orthodox church with a similar
Orthodoxy is a cultural reality. Most are nominal in their
faith and are not strongly connected to their religion outside of a cultural
Some of the older Ukranians in Louisville are Jews who came during World War
II seeking refuge.
Currently there are several Ukranian students at Southern
Seminary and at least one Ukranian who is a part of the Russian church plant.
There may be other evangelical Ukranians in Louisville but this information was not
What are their needs?
The god of communism has been replaced by the god of
materialism as Ukranians have relocated to the United States. Many come with a
dream of a better life through the gaining of material wealth. As the reality
that wealth and material possessions can never satisfy becomes a reality,
Ukranians need to hear the hope that comes from Christ in the Gospel.
For Ukranians, especially older Ukranians, who are less
competent in English there are needs for people to help them gain a better
understanding of English so they can find work and live life here in the United States.
"After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb." (Revelation 7:9, NIV)