Ukrainian protestants organize Easter celebration


Religiia v Ukraine, 26 April 2019


On 27 April, a huge reconstruction of biblical events, "The Last Journey of Christ," will occur in the center of Odessa. More than 300 actors will participate in the production. They will be dressed in specially created costumes of the first century C.E. of people of various classes, and they will pass along the cobblestone street of Deribasovskaia. The organizers of the event are the Good Samaritan charitable foundation and the Odessa People's Church, with the support of the Odessa city council and the Youth Council under the city mayor, Religiia v Ukraine reports, citing Invictory.


During the production, significant events of biblical history will be shown: the betrayal of Judas, Peter's denial, the high priest's plot, Christ's meeting with Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate's trial, and the crucifixion journey of Jesus.


Christian protestants have worked on the production for several months. Authentic costumes were made especially for the historical reconstruction from images and archaeological finds of that period and natural beards and wigs for the principal characters were made to order.


Thirty professional reconstructors from Italy, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine will come to Odessa. Before the event, on 25 April, they will establish a mini-camp of Roman legionnaires on Deribasovskaia. Here they will stage marches and battles in full uniform of that historical period. They also will erect exact copies of weaponry and of an ancient grille on which the legionnaires will prepare food on Odessa's central street.


"We want to remind Odessans of the historical essence of the holiday of Easter," noted Denis Serdichenko, the senior pastor of Odessa People's Church. "Many have become accustomed to the fact that Easter is a holiday of gluttony and colored eggs. We also want to recall that Easter is a holiday of the triumph of good over evil and of the achievement of Jesus Christ who gave himself in sacrifice in order to atone for human sins."


This year the reconstruction is being conducted with the participation of the Ukrainian Inter-church Council.


The "Easter Reconstruction" has been held in Odessa for seven years now. This is the most massive theatrical, costumed action in Ukraine under the open sky, devoted to the last days of the life of Jesus Christ. Earlier the Odessa diocese of the UPTsMP protested against the reconstruction and Metropolitan Agafangel tried to prevent the production, because it is organized by non-Orthodox Christians. (tr by PDS, posted 26 April 2019)

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