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The official language is Ukrainian, but Russian is heavily spoken throughout the eastern and southern part of the country.  Romanian, Polish and Hungarian are also spoken as they are neighboring countries.

The official religion is Ukrainian Orthodox.  Russian Orthodox is also common, with a minority of evangelical Christians and some Jews.

Evangelical Christians make up 3.8% of the population in the Ukraine.  While Evangelical Christians in Ukraine are on the fringe, and even considered cultish by their Orthodox counterparts, this is changing.  After the collapse of communism, there was an open interest in religious traditions, primarily because it was so anti-Soviet.  Many missionaries came into Ukraine, helping with the evangelical infrastructure like seminaries, as well as charity outreach to these desperately needy people.  Ukraine is an evangelical “hub”, providing training and resources for believers, as well as sending out their own missionaries into Russia and other Eastern countries.

The history of the Ukraine is one of constant changes in power and domination, including the Huns, Goths, and Avars.  In the mid-1500’s Poland and Lithuania formed a union which resulted in serfdom to the Ukrainians.  The Ukrainian Orthodox were also persecuted.  Many Ukrainians fled and formed a military order known as the Cossacks which fought against the Polish rule.  Wars ensued, and Ukraine had a very brief independence in 1918.  However, communist rule came and brought a lot of hardship on the Ukrainians.  German Nazis then came in, first seen as liberators of communism, but soon recognized as another form of harsh treatment.  Even after World War II, Ukraine suffered much in order to gain their independence, which finally happened in 1991.

Cultural fun facts

Ukrainians have a “Russian serious” sober persona.  But as they come to know Christ, joy seeps in!