Ukraine (MNN) — Christians in Ukraine are concerned about the potential loss of religious freedom. February 7th marks the date for a run-off election which pits the villain in the 2004 Presidential election, Viktor Yanukovich, against prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko–the two who took first and second in the elections.
Yanukovych received 35.4 percent to Tymoshenko's 25 percent, with the rest of the vote scattered among 16 other candidates. Under Ukraine's election laws, a candidate must take 50 percent to win outright. Turnout was nearly 67 percent.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko suffered a resounding defeat at the polls on Sunday as voters abandoned him for allegedly betraying the ideals of the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought him to power. He received about 5 percent of the vote.
Sergey Rakhuba with Russian Ministries is concerned that if Yanukovich wins, "he will follow the Russian example, and religious freedom will have a lot more problems. He will limit Christian activity. He will control non-profit organization, mission activity, and he will give priority to the Orthodox Church."
Rakhuba says their work will continue, no matter what. "We'll continue to train national leaders despite any political implications. It could be more difficult. It could be more restrictive. We would have to be more proactive and creative to equip the national leaders."
This training can't stop, says Rakhuba, because the young people are excited about ministry. "Ukrainian evangelicals are providing a lot more resources for missions than any other place in the former Soviet Union." He adds, "Young Ukrainian missionaries are traveling all over Siberian lands in Russia, or are going to the 'Stan' countries. They're so proactive."
Russian Ministries is actively training next generation church leaders in Ukraine and other former Soviet nations. Your support can help train even more young believers. Click here to help.