In 1991, the Ukraine claimed independence from the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian Lutheran Church (ULC) declared fellowship with WELS. The ULC continues to face increasingly difficult challenges and an uncertain future in a social climate where the majority of Ukrainians are heavily influenced by the Eastern Orthodox Church and traditions from Slavic mythology. Other challenges include financial pressures brought on by high inflation coupled with a decrease in the financial resources from America that are used to provide support for congregations and workers; increased governmental regulation and at times open hostility; and a history in which biblical stewardship principles have not yet been fully implemented in ULC congregations. In spite of challenges, the ULC continues to work faithfully to proclaim the saving Gospel and to be a voice for confessional Lutheranism in Ukraine.
While Lutheranism has a long history in Ukraine, the ULC in its present form had its origins in the efforts of Thoughts of Faith, a mission organization affiliated with ELS. Today, WELS is the primary ministry partner of the ULC, as a result of an agreement with the ELS. The WELS Board for World Missions (BWM) provides support, guidance, and resources to our sister church body in the Ukraine. The leadership of the ULC recognizes that the long term plans of the ULC must incorporate the goal of self-support and self-sufficiency, with an emphasis upon biblical stewardship. The ULC has been dependent on financial support from America. Its goal is to become fully self-supporting within the next ten years. Learn more about WELS mission history in Ukraine.
Baptized national members: 600+
Organized congregations: 16
Preaching stations: 3