Charismatic (neo-Pentecostal) in Ukraine: Religion - business - politics - authority

The wave of God-searching boom during the epoch of USSR collapse has born in public life numerous loudly - bright short-lived chimeras look-like “White Brotherhood”. And only some people has paid attention to occurrence of charismatic organizations. And some years after that in Ukraine, unexpected for traditional churches, data of official statistics have testified appearance of Association of Independent Christian Charismatic Churches of Ukraine (AICCCU) as one from the ten most influential confessions of Ukraine: in 2000 there were 470 charismatic communities and related with them structures (for comparison: in 1992 they were only 27).
In Ukraine charismatic movement has the greatest wide spreading in Southern-east regions, where there are 297 associations, or 59,6% from the total charismatic ones. In Kiev - over 10000 of movement adherents. It is characteristic, that number of local charismats grow not so much for the account of new-involved, but from the side of ex-members of other churches (so-called policy of proselytism, condemned by the majority of Christian confessions).
Recently greatest activity in our state is shown from the side of a large charismatic wing, which names itself as "Faith Movement" or "Word of Faith". One of its ideologists, American preacher, Kennet Heigen, asserts, that all his "especial knowledge" he ostensibly has received "before God throne" during eight "personal meetings with Jesus". One of such "trues" is appeal to believers to aspire for prosperity and authority. To stop critic in his address, Heigen foretells to all his opponents fast death from cancer.
It is necessary to note that in Ukraine activity of some structures of the movement sometimes go with violation of current legislation, there are facts of citizens rights infringement. So, for example, anxiety of public causes by activity of Kiev church "Word of Faith", headed by Nigeria citizen, pastor Sandey Sunkanmy Adeladga. This religious organization has about 4 thousand believers in total only in capital. And recently it has expanded its sphere of influence, having based 7 communities in different towns of Kiev area. Adeladga is simultaneously director of two Bible schools, which prepare preachers.
The history of this pastor cult activity is rather entertaining. Active nigerian citizen in 1994 has founded religious charitable organization "Blagovest", registered a religious society of charismatic kind "Word of Faith". Having been borned in influential family of the above mentioned African country (his brother is a big government official, and grandfather ostensibly was a priest in one of local cults), he skilfully has transferred spirit of exalte African religion on Ukrainian ground. For unbiased observers movements, songs and dimmed eyes of Adeladga’s services participants arise associations with dances around of a fire with tom-tom somewhere in African jungle.
Religious practice of "Word of Faith" became a subject of numerous complaints and applications addressing of official instances from the part of citizens, whose relatives, children or friends were involved into the sect. The applicants informed, that participation of loved people in cult activity was negatively reflected in their mental status, interpersonal relations and social behaviour. The facts have been proved to be true and after ending of validity of reusable visa the State Committee on religions of Ukraine has given up to pastor Sandey Adeladga in further visa support. But legal way was found: Kiev firm "Valenta" has issued the visa for Sandey as "for expert in rare grades of African wood", but for some reason has nominated him to a position of spiritual director. Obviously, knowledge in this sphere helps pastor "to process" believers and to transform them into "wood".
Taking into account, that the invitation proceeded from private enterprise, Management on religions of Kiev has not given him sanction to realize pastor activity. Due to this occasion Adeladga has addressed to court of a regional level, where it was accepted the decisions about illegality of actions of city authorities.
It pays attention on itself that aspiration of the leaders of religious association "Word of Faith" to create influence positions in bodies of authority, state and commercial enterprises and MASS-MEDIA for lobbying their interests. So, for example, Kostyuchenko L.M., from the staff of Management of Affairs of the Supreme Council helped Adeladga in solving of questions in bodies of state authority. Through the head of a department of political life from national TV of Ukraine, Bernichev V.V., the sect has got broadcasting time for its programs without the appropriate coordination with bodies of authority. In December, 1997, during celebration of 5 years of sect "Pobeda" (in English – “Victory”) leader of political association "Gromada" P.Lazarenko and chief of "Christian Democy party" V.Zhuravsky were invited through Gromova V.O., the dean of pastors institute "Jesus Navin", which worked under leading of the society “Word of Faith”.
The management of sect under covering of various charitable projects buys up real estate. So, under anti-drug centre "Nadezhda" (“Hope”), for which activity Ministry of protection of health did not give sanction for realization, in city Boryspol (Kiev area) the sect buyed premises of former city state building. Now they try to receive building of airport club. Adeladga tried also to get un-building cinema-club in Kiev, but representatives of Management on religions affairs of capital were managed to prevented this purchase. Adeladga transferred significant means to the address of “Ukrvagonservice” firm for increasing of income.
Since November, 1998, activity of Sandey Adeladga has been checked by General public prosecutor department of Ukraine. During checking it was revealed a number of infringements of the current Ukrainian legislation by him and his environment.
Since January, 1998, Adeladga carried out work on attraction of his adherents and members of "Associations of Independent Christian Charismatic Churches" to state pre-election campaign. The believers of charismatic cults "Word of Faith" and "Victory" in a complete staff (total - about 6000 persons) have supported representatives of party "Gromada"during election to the Supreme Council of Ukraine.
Natalya Bezborodova
17 января 2015


  • Report of the Ukrainian national center religious safety and help to victims of destructive cults "Dialogue" at the International scientific and practical conference "Children and sects", Barcelona (Spain), 10-11 May 2002
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  • Considerations about Austrian governmental cult related activities