Ukrainian Lutheran Church
|Ukrainian Lutheran Church|
|Logo of the Ukrainian Lutheran Church|
|Associations||Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference|
|Founder||Thoughts of Faith|
The Ukrainian Lutheran Church (Українська Лютеранська Церква) or ULC is a Christian denomination of the Lutheran tradition based in the eastern European country of Ukraine. It consists of 25 congregations within Ukraine, serving over 2500 members and runs Saint Sophia Ukrainian Lutheran Theological Seminary in Ternopil in Western Ukraine.
The ULC teaches that the Bible is the only authoritative source for doctrine. It subscribes to the Lutheran Confessions (the Book of Concord) as accurate presentations of what Scripture teaches. It teaches that Jesus is the center of Scripture and the only way to eternal salvation, and that the Holy Spirit uses the gospel alone in Word and Sacraments (Baptism and Holy Communion) to bring people to faith in Jesus as Savior and keep them in that faith, strengthening them in their daily life of sanctification.
Ukrainian Lutheranism originated in the seventeenth century. In 1933 the Ukrainian Lutheran Liturgy was published, the first Liturgy of Byzantine Rite Lutheranism.
The ULC was established in 1996 by several Lutheran congregations in Ukraine after the fall of the Soviet Union and the loosening of restrictions on religious expression. It grew into existence through active mission work by the Lutheran mission organization Thoughts of Faith in the 1980s and 90s.
While the ULC is a relatively new denomination, it traces its roots to early Lutheranism in the 16th century, and more recently, to the Ukrainian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession which was persecuted and eventually destroyed by the Soviet government and KGB in 1939. The ULC is legally seen as the successor to the Ukrainian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession and has been given the right to reclaim some of the church property once seized by the Soviet government.
The ULC has been officially registered with the government of Ukraine as a Christian denomination since 1996.