Baptist amid the Orthodox: In the wake of the shakeup in Ukraine’s government, Oleksandr Turchynov, a Baptist lay preacher, was named interim president. A onetime member of the youth organization of the Communist Party, he became a Christian in 1998. He has a long record of advocacy of religious freedom and has pushed for the return of church properties seized under communism and for ending import taxes on Bibles. The election of a Baptist might seem unlikely in a nation with an overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian identity and a Protestant population of less than 1 percent. But observers say he is well equipped to work both with those who want closer ties to Europe and those who want to maintain long-standing ties to Russia (ABP).