Mission History in Ukraine
988: Christianity is officially introduced into Ukraine when the Great Prince of Kyiv, St. Volodymyr, was baptized and began to spread Christianity in the territories of Eastern Europe.
1925-1939: There are 25 Ukrainian Lutheran congregations in western Ukraine, with a total membership of more than 10,000 people. These churches make up the Ukrainian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession.
1939: Russians invade western Ukraine and many Ukrainian Lutheran pastors, deacons, and laypeople are arrested and either murdered or sent into concentration camps in Siberia.
1944: The Ukrainian Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession ceases to exist and Lutheranism becomes an illegal religion in the territory of the Soviet Ukraine. Lutherans practice their faith secretly.
1991: The Soviet Union collapses.
1993: Two new Lutheran congregations are established in Ukraine, the first in Ternopil and the other in Kyiv. WELS’ sister church, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, provides missionaries through their Thoughts of Faith program. These missionaries are instrumental in re-establishing Lutheranism in Ukraine. Soon two more Lutheran congregations are established in Kremenets and Sevastopol.
1994: The Ukrainian Lutheran Theological Seminary of St. Sophia (Holy Wisdom) begins its ministry.
1995: The Lutheran Wave radio-program begins to be broadcast.
1996: The Ukrainian Lutheran Church is officially registered as a national Christian church body, a legal successor of the Ukrainian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession.
2013: WELS assumes support for the Ukrainian Lutheran Church (ULC).
2020: COVID-19 forces much of the ULC’s ministry online. New online devotions, Bible studies, and services reach many new people.