Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ukraine: "Ukraine highly influential for reaching Jewish people globally with the gospel"

Via Christianity Today:   

In Ukraine, where nearly 1 million Jews were murdered during World War II, Holocaust references are usually used to make political points. During January’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Russian and Ukrainian leaders compared each other to Nazis and publicly fought over which country should get the credit for freeing the concentration camp in occupied Poland.

But Ukraine’s Messianic Jewish community is talking about the Holocaust in its evangelistic efforts. And now Messianic congregations are thriving in many of the same communities that suffered the deepest Holocaust wounds.


“We . . . rejoice that many Jewish people are coming to faith in Messiah in places that witnessed some of the worst atrocities of the Holocaust period,” stated the Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism (LCJE). The group met in Kiev for its 10th European conference last April. More than 80 participants from 19 nations gathered largely “to affirm and encourage these Jewish followers of Jesus,” and to recognize “the enormous number of Jewish followers of Jesus who perished in the Holocaust.”

 “We live in a special time of restoration,” says Boris Grisenko, KJMC’s leader and founder. “Now we see hundreds of Jewish Messianic congregations in different countries. It’s an unusual moment when Jews are coming to the Lord—to their own Master, King, Messiah, Savior.”

Ukrainians are also shaping Messianic life in Israel. Michael Zinn, Israel director for CPM, estimates that almost half of the 20,000 Russian-speaking Jews in Israel who believe in Christ are from Ukraine.

All these trends together make Ukraine highly influential for reaching Jewish people globally with the gospel, said Jonathan Bernis, founder of Phoenix-based Jewish Voice Ministries International. “Ukraine probably represents the greatest opportunity to reach Jewish people,” he says.

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