About the People
For more than 1,000 years, Romanian peoples have inhabited the southern region of modern-day Ukraine along with a number of other people groups.
In June 1997, Romania and Ukraine signed a bilateral treaty that guaranteed the rights of Romanians in Ukraine and of Ukrainians in Romania. There are schools in Ukraine that teach Romanian as a primary language, along with newspapers, TV and radio broadcasting in Romanian. According to the Soviet 1989 census, Romanian speakers accounted for just under one percent of Ukraine’s total population: 34,825 Romanians, with the most significant minority in Chernivtsi (approximately one-fifth of the region’s population).
Eastern Orthodoxy is the largest religious denomination among Romanians, claimed by 81% of the population. The rate of church attendance is, however, significantly lower. According to a September–October 2007 poll, 38% go to church several times a month or more (of which 7% go weekly or more often), 20% go to church on the average monthly, 33% go only one or two times a year, and 7% don’t attend church.
About the Project
AFM is working in partnership with the Romanian Union and the West Ukraine Union to share the everlasting gospel among the large Romanian population in the western districts of the Ukraine. These Romanian communities, though living in the Ukraine, maintain the cultural, linguistic and social heritage of Romania. Therefore, ministry by Ukrainians to Romanians is difficult due to language and cultural barriers. The AFM missionaries are Romanians who live in Romania but who cross each day into the Ukraine to minister to the local Romanian community. Recent successes included the holding of a successful VBS among the children of the focus community and the completion of the refurbishment of the local SDA Church. New avenues for ministry are being explored, including health and family ministries.
- Population: 142,000
- Trade Language: Ukrainian
- Heart Language: Romanian
- Religion: 80% Eastern Orthodox