Nigerian pastor finds new flock in Ukraine
By Helen Fawkes
BBC News, Kiev
Inside one of Ukraine’s biggest sports halls a band pumps out deafening music surrounded by pom pom-waving dancers in shiny blue outfits.
Thousands of people are on their feet enthusiastically singing and clapping along, as if at a pop concert.
A Pentecostal church called the Embassy of God is sweeping across the country.
It claims to have 25,000 members in the capital alone.
For many people here a church service that has a feel-good factor is something new.
“First of all I liked the music and I liked the girl who was singing on the stage. Maybe that’s why I went back again. Then I understood that there’s a God and he loves us,” says maths teacher Roman Bazhok, who has been a member of the church for two years.
One of the main reasons the Embassy of God attracts so many people is down to its charismatic leader Sunday Adelaja.
He left Nigeria to escape witchcraft and to study in the Soviet Union.
After the collapse of communism Pastor Sunday, as he is known, started his own church with just handful a of fellow African students in the capital.
Now politicians and even Kiev’s mayor Leonid Chernovetsky are regulars.
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