2017 Kyiv spiritual celebration pictured in viral picture



The declare: A photograph reveals a celebration after Ukraine’s president lifted a ban on proselytizing

Amid the looming risk of a Russian invasion, some elements of Ukraine have seen protests. However social media customers declare a distinct sort of occasion just lately introduced Ukrainians to the streets.

“Lots of of Hundreds Collect within the Streets of Ukraine to Reward the Identify of Jesus, after the President lastly gave liberty to evangelise the Gospel which was banned for therefore a few years,” reads the caption of a Feb. 2 Fb submit.

The picture, which gathered 18,000 shares in lower than per week, reveals an aerial view of a avenue filled with individuals. The picture is actual, however the submit misidentifies it.

Whereas the picture reveals a non secular gathering within the streets of Kyiv, it’s not latest. The picture is from a 2017 celebration of the five hundredth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which led to the creation of Protestantism in Europe.

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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky did not just lately grant “liberty to evangelise the gospel,” both. USA TODAY discovered no proof of such a ban. Ukraine’s Structure ensures freedom of faith, and the nation would not ban proselytizing, or making an attempt to transform an individual to a different faith.

USA TODAY reached out to the Fb person who posted the picture for remark.

Picture reveals 2017 celebration marking anniversary of Protestant Reformation

In September 2017, a number of Ukrainian information shops and spiritual blogs featured the picture within the Fb submit.

In response to the Non secular Data Service of Ukraine, the picture was taken on Kyiv’s most well-known avenue, Khreshchatyk Road. The information service, which is a part of the Ukrainian Catholic College, reported that the occasion featured motivational speaker Nick Vujicic.

The gathering celebrated the five hundredth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, based on a Google translation of an article from Christian charity Metropolis Assist Middle. 

The celebration was the primary of its form and got here a yr after then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree recognizing the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The Christian Broadcasting Community, a Virginia-based evangelical information station, reported the day included family-focused occasions equivalent to play zones and musical performances.

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This isn’t the primary time the picture within the submit has been taken out of context on-line.

In August 2021, the picture gained traction amongst Spanish-speaking social media customers with the similar declare. Spanish-language fact-checking organizations, in addition to Reuters and Verify Your Truth, have debunked the declare.

Ukraine did not ban proselytizing

The Fb submit claims the Ukrainian authorities just lately lifted a ban on proselytizing. However USA TODAY may discover no proof that such a ban ever existed.

Non secular freedom is protected in Ukraine beneath Article 35 of the nation’s Structure.


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“This proper shall embody the liberty to profess any faith or profess no faith, to freely follow spiritual rites and ceremonial rituals, alone or collectively, and to pursue spiritual actions,” the textual content reads.

A 2020 U.S. State Division report that analyzed spiritual freedom in Ukraine says the federal government cannot limit one’s freedom of faith and worship until it is within the pursuits of “defending public order, the well being and morality or the inhabitants, or defending different rights and freedoms of different individuals.”

Our score: False

Based mostly on our analysis, we charge FALSE the declare {that a} picture reveals a celebration after Ukraine’s president lifted a ban on proselytizing. The picture was taken in 2017 throughout a celebration in Kyiv of the five hundredth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. USA TODAY discovered no proof that Ukraine as soon as banned proselytizing.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Al Jazeera, Feb. 5, Hundreds protest in Ukraine’s Kharkiv towards Russian risk
  • Wall Road Journal, Feb. 3, U.S. Orders 3,000 Troops to Bolster European Allies in Russia-Ukraine Disaster
  • The Washington Publish, Jan. 30, Ukraine’s Zelensky’s message is do not panic. That is making the West antsy
  • Nationwide Geographic, April 7, 2021, The Protestant Reformation
  • Non secular Data Service of Ukraine, Sept. 18, 2017, Hundreds of Christians take to the streets to hearken to Nick Vujicic in Kyiv
  • Go to Kiev Ukraine, accessed Feb. 8, Khreshchatyk
  • Metropolis Assist Middle, accessed Feb. 8, About Us
  • Metropolis Assist Middle, accessed Feb. 8, For the primary time in Ukraine, Thanksgiving Day was celebrated within the middle of the capital of Ukraine on Khreshcnatyk
  • Google Translate, Feb. 8, Translation of Metropolis Assist Middle article
  • President of Ukraine, Aug. 26, 2016, The President signed the Decree “On the celebration of the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation in Ukraine”
  • Slavic Gospel Affiliation, Sept. 22, 2017, First Thanksgiving Day in Ukraine
  • CBN Information, accessed Feb. 8, About CBN
  • CBN Information, Sept. 21, 2017, Lots of of Hundreds Collect within the Streets of Ukraine to Reward the Identify of Jesus
  • Bolivia Verifica, Aug. 25, 2021, This picture of Ukraine will not be present and it was not as a result of the president “gave freedom to evangelise the gospel”
  • AP Verifica, Aug. 24, 2021, Fotografía que muestra evento religioso en Ucrania no es reciente
  • Reuters, Aug. 24, 2021, Truth Verify-Foto muestra un acto del orador motivacional australiano Nick Vujicic en Ucrania en 2017
  • Reuters, Feb. 4, Truth Verify-Picture of gathering in Ukraine dates to a September 2017 occasion
  • Verify Your Truth, Feb. 7, Truth examine: Does this picture present Christians gathering in Ukraine to evangelise the gospel in 2022?
  • Laws of Ukraine, accessed Feb. 8, The Structure of Ukraine
  • U.S. State Division, Could 12, 2021, 2020 Report on Worldwide Non secular Freedom: Ukraine

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Our fact-check work is supported partially by a grant from Fb.


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