In October 2008, a significant event for Protestants in Ukraine and Eurasian countries took place in Kiev, Ukraine. The Eurasian Lausanne Consultation on World Evangelization brought together more than one hundred representatives from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Guests were also present from the USA, Canada, and Lithuania.
Practicing evangelists, missiologists, church leaders, theologians, business leaders, and media representatives shared their experiences and learned new methods of evangelism based not upon theory only, but upon experience proved by time and results. The event was unique because of its focus on the dialogue between participants and experts with one main goal: to gain insight into today’s society to find adequate ways of reaching people for Christ.
The opening of the consultation included singing by the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary choir.
One of the main speakers was Rev. S. Douglas Birdsall, executive chair of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, who was introduced by Dr. Anatoliy Glukhovskyy, Lausanne International Deputy Director for Eurasia. Rev. Birdsall shared the history of Lausanne and its mission to mobilize evangelical leaders to collaborate for world evangelization.
During the two-day consultation, participants shared news on the religious, political, and social conditions of their countries; testimonies of God’s glory in the life of their churches; and prayer needs because of persecution of Protestants in countries where they minister (including Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Belarus, and Armenia).
The consultation was focused on three key issues for the Eurasian region:
- How can the Eurasian Church minister to Christ’s body?
- What are the primary needs of churches from the former USSR?
- How can Lausanne contribute to the development of evangelization ministry in the Eurasia region during 2009, 2010, and 2011?
Two roundtable discussions on “The Changing Role of the Eurasian Church in World Evangelization” and “Church-State Relationships and Social Activities in World Evangelization” were held.
Cape Town 2010 National Selection Committees, with chairpersons for each one, and Country
Selection Committees for Ukraine, Russia, Moldavia, Armenia, and “stan” countries were confirmed and prayed for. The Eurasian Council of Reference was held, and the decision was made to do all registrations for the 2010 Congress on paper for security reasons.
The gathering of data on potential participants was started and almost two hundred names were registered. A list of key issues on evangelism in Eurasia was developed, and much time was spent evaluating the role of the Church in the post-soviet era. Local consultations were scheduled in many parts of Ukraine (e.g., Lviv, Odessa, Berdichev), Russia (Moscow and Krasnodar), Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan.