What kind of ticks me off is when some televangelist-type missionaries say they're going to a country, say Russia or Lithuania, and they say, "These people have never heard the Gospel before, have never head the name of Jesus before." Yes they have! Doggone it!! Oh well, I pray the missionaries will duck into an Orthodox church to see what it's like, and the light will be dazzling coming off all the icons, and the choir will be singing, and they'll just get swept off their feet.
The sad thing is, however, that very many (the overwhelming majority) of the people in post-Soviet countries indeed never heard the Gospel.
I know it for a fact because I was born and raised in Ukraine and I travel there often. Yes, they might attend a church service sometimes (usually on big holidays), but they are like tourists there, not like partakers. What many of them believe is that if you cross yourself many times and lite a few candles, this will bring you luck, relieve some pain etc. But they have absolutely no clue, and no desire to find out, just what is going on in the altar, just what is this priest or deacon chanting, etc. They do not have Bibles at home, often they never even saw a closed Bible. My own sister-in-law, who lives in Northwestern Ukraine, considers herself "deeply religious Orthodox," but the never in her entire life read even one line in the Bible, and she does not know any prayers (a few years ago, she was stunned when she found out that I can say the Lord's prayer, and she asked me to teach it to her, but when I just started, she ran out of patience and said, 'ah, that's too hard for me"). If you ask her, or some 99% or so of her friends, relatives, compatriots questions like what's the Trinity, or is Christ man, or what does the Eucharist mean, or why are people baptised, or what's the Ten Commandments, or what do the Beautitudes say - these people for sure will not give you any rational answer.
My recently deceased dear mother-in-law also identified herself as a "believer, Orthodox," and even had icons at home, and loved to enter a church and to kiss an icon. But she, too, never attended a Divine Liturgy from the beginning to the end, never read anything from the Bible and had no idea about our Church dogmatics or structure. I remember how one time, when we visited the grave of her late husband, I mentioned something about the resurrection of the body, and she looked at me with these wide open eyes and wide open mouth, and said, "what, BODY will resurrect? But that's NONSENSE. Aren't you Christian? If you are a Christian, you perhaps should know that only SOULS resurrect."
My friends from among the UOC priests, like Fr. Andriy Dudchenko from Kyiv, Fr. Vitaliy Eismont from Korosten', Fr. Joan Shandra from Khust and other, keep saying that the level of catechization in Ukraine, as well as in Russia, is ABYSMAL. Something really needs to be done, and Protestant missionaries, with their good working knowledge of Scripture and Christian dogmatics, may be extremely helpful in this situation.