God in the Ukraine.

December 21, 2004 | 5 comments

The Ukraine’s Orange Revolution has managed to be both Western/reformist/urban professional/liberalizing and God-fearing. Remarkable.

Adrian Karatynky reports (a hat tip to The Corner):

Mr. Yushchenko, who typically ends his speeches with “Glory to Ukraine, Glory to the Ukrainian People, and Glory to the Lord, Our God,” is a devout Orthodox Christian from northeastern Ukraine who regularly takes confession and communion. His faith is reinforced by his American-born wife, Katya Chumachenko, who last week told the Chicago Tribune: “We’re strong believers in God, and we strongly believe that God has a place for each one of us in this world, and that he has put us in this place for a reason.”

I wonder what Solzhenitsyn would think if he were Ukrainian.

5 Responses to God in the Ukraine.

  1. Mathew on December 21, 2004 at 1:30 am

    As pointed out in the article Adam references, the appeals to God, in Ukraine as in the U.S., have a political dimension that should not be ignored. No doubt Patriarch Filaret is loathe to have the Ukrainian Orthodox Church come under futher influence of the Russian Orthodox Church. When I was a missionary in Kiev a direct confrontation between the two took place when Filaret’s predecessor, Patriarch Volodymyr was taken to be buried in St. Sofia–a cathedral not far from Independence Square. Either soldiers or priests under Metropolitan Volodomyr Sabodan (the head of the Ukrainian branch of the (Russian) Orthodox Church loyal to Patriarch Aleksy II of Moscow) blocked the entry and a riot ensued in which three people were killed. The pavement in front of St. Sofia’s was torn up and Sabodan was interrred on the spot. I remember distinctly the news clips of the holy procession turning to bedlam as priests duked it out to see whose faith would be predominant in Ukraine.

  2. Adam Greenwood on December 21, 2004 at 1:39 am

    Is the cathedral claimed by both orthodox groups then?

    Also, is Mr. Karatynky correct that (Orthodox) religiosity is on the rise?

  3. Last_lemming on December 21, 2004 at 9:13 am


    Could you clarify something for me? There seem to be two Volodymyrs in your account, but which is Sabodan—the dead Patriarch who was buried or the living Metropolitan who tried to block the burial?

  4. Geoff B on December 21, 2004 at 2:42 pm

    There are some remarkable things continuing to go on with the worldwide spread of democracy and freedom. Many people who were not religious (Ukrainians) are beginning to see that God does want them to have free agency. They are lining up against the secret combinations of the Communists and former Communists. I predict we’ll see a lot more of this in the coming years as the remaining non-free countries begin to become free so the Gospel can be preached there.

  5. Mathew on December 21, 2004 at 3:46 pm


    It was my understanding that both groups claimed the cathedral, but I’m not clear on the specifics.

    Last Lemming,

    Volodomyr Sabodan is the living patriarch representing the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

    I went to the Patriarch’s burial place on the 40th day after his death. The Russian/Ukrainian Orthodox believe that is the day the soul leaves the body and returns to God. There was a large crowd gathered and a nationalistic group in camos, Una Uno stood with linked arms around the area–ready to take on all (Russian) comers. Bus loads of soldiers were parked a few blocks, out of sight but at the ready. Nothing much happened, but I got some great pictures of higher-ups in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church performing a rite over the grave.


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