OF THE COUNCIL OF BISHOPS OF THE UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
WILL HISTORY BE REPEATED IN UKRAINE?
THE PRAYERS OF ALL ARE NECESSARY
As the world was being lured by years of careful calculation, preparation and machination, all leading up to the Winter Olympics In Sochi, Russia, into a comfortable belief - or perhaps a desired belief - that the great bear had finally been domesticated, the people of Ukraine sat outdoors on cold cobble-stoned streets in Kyiv's Independence Square - the Maidan - ready to give their lives in order to be rid of yet another corrupt leader and to finally breathe the ever fresh air of freedom and of a lifestyle that enables them to grow and be productive citizens of their nation. For a brief few days it seemed to be a dream come true when that leader suddenly packed up and left town and those who had supported him abandoned him. Those who remained and who had supported the Maidan were suddenly the majority in the Verkovna Rada - The Ukrainian Parliament - acting with solidarity in the name of Ukraine first.
Then suddenly, the mask was dropped. Without the slightest provocation or act of aggression against any Russian speaking citizen of the Crimean Peninsula or of any other region of the independent nation of Ukraine, the bear's claws and fangs were no longer restrained and its military troops invaded Ukraine. No longer was there any attempt to "improve the image" of the bear. It would no longer remain in its domesticated realm. Is it once again setting out to recreate the lost empire? Will this doctrine of protecting its citizens in Ukraine expand to other nations – even those never part of the former empire? Regardless of the answers to these questions, once again our beloved ancestral homeland - Ukraine - is under threat of suppression and repression.
The world watches. The world says "Stop!" The world says "Go home!" The world says "Ukraine has the right to self-determination"! In reality, however, what can simple words accomplish? Will the world find the courage to do more than pronounce warnings? Will the world, this time, ensure that Ukraine and her people will not again be subject to a new form of genocide? Or will the world once again ultimately abandon what it considers a futile effort to force the bear back into its own domain and simply turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the situation? Words are simply words, with no inherent authority or power. It is what stands behind - and before - those words that matters. No one envisions a military force entering Ukraine from the West. This would only inflict more unnecessary damage upon the people of Ukraine - remember the last armies that came from the West who the poor Ukrainian people at first thought to be liberators? No, military force will not accomplish the necessary end. The words of modern diplomacy must be backed up with effective economic, political and social actions and sanctions, which will convince the invaders that its efforts are futile and counterproductive for its own welfare and the welfare of the people subject to it.
All our lives we have studied the history of our Ukrainian nation and throughout our ministry we have held in our arms the victims of the bear's aggression, the survivors of the suppression, repression, family separation, gulags, torture, Holodomor – death by starvation - looking into their eyes as they remember the millions of their own family members lost “for the good of the empire”. We witnessed the joy in their faces as they thanked God for the freedom of their nation - their whole, united nation - before independence and over the past 24 years since the referendum on independence passed overwhelmingly throughout all the nation. As the result of this, in the face of threats to that independence, that we must make demands of our political leaders, here in the United States of America and throughout the world for immediate strong, effective and honorable action before it is too late - once again. We urge all our clergy, faithful and parish communities to be in contact with our President, Congressional Representatives and Senators, our state Governors and Legislators to stand firm in support of Ukraine and her beloved people!
We remain in solidarity with our Orthodox, Catholic and other Faith leaders in Ukraine who have proved their devotion to their flocks in their steadfast prayer and ministry to those who sat on the cold cobble-stoned Maidan. We have personally delivered material support to the hospitals caring for the injured and the families of those murdered. Today, however, we call upon all our brother Hierarchs of Orthodox Churches throughout the world to utilize their God-give authority, including those in Russia itself, to call for the cessation of the attack of Orthodox brothers against their own in the Faith! We call upon Christians of other denominations and adherents of all religious Faiths around the world to urge their followers to speak up and help to avoid a cataclysm for a nation that has endured far more such cataclysms than it should have been able to endure. But, endure it did! Only by the Grace of God was Ukraine reborn over these 24 years - in spite of weak and fractured leadership at all levels - political social, ecclesiastical and more. The time has come to allow her to blossom, as she has begun to - without being a threat to any of her neighbors and without abandoning millennium old international relationships.
Ukraine and her people were for a significant and vital period of time, the very epicenter of world Orthodoxy. She and her people have proven themselves by their incredible faith in our Lord and God a d Savior, Jesus Christ. She has submitted herself to hope in Holy Trinity and to the Protection of the Mother of God. We, as the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America, beg for the sincere and endless prayers of all who read these words or hear them spoken. We especially appeal to those monastic communities around the world, who pray continuously for mankind to place Ukraine and her people in their hearts and minds during all their prayers.
May God in the Holy Trinity and the beloved Mother of God, the Ever-Virgin Mary, and all the Saints and Martyrs of Ukraine hear our prayers and protect our God-loving Nation of Ukraine and grant her peace and the knowledge of Truth and Love at all times.
PRAYER FOR UKRAINE:
Let us Pray to the Lord - Lord, Have Mercy! Господу помолимось - Господи, помилуй!
Almighty Father, You said that when two or three are gathered in your name – you would be among them. Remembering Your words and having received the land of Ukraine for our heritage; We ask you today to prove us mindful of this great blessing. Bless our ancestral homeland Ukraine and these United States with honorable works, sound learning, and good manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance. Defend liberty which is an expression of your Divine Will. During this time of difficulty throughout our ancestral homeland Ukraine fill our hearts with gratitude, and grant the people of Ukraine, and all of us the grace to continue to trust in You and Your mercy as we did in previous days of trouble. We ask this for we know that you are a gracious and loving God in whom we are blessed through the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, always now and ever and to the ages of ages. AMEN.
Всемогутній Отче, Ти сказав, що, коли двоє або троє зберуться в ім'я Твоє - Ти будеш серед них. Згадуючи Твої слова і отримавши землю України як спадщину; Ми просимо Тебе сьогодні, щоб поміг нам пам'ятати це велике благословення. Благослови нашу Батьківщину - Україну та Сполучені Штати Америки почесними ділами, голосом науки та хорошими манерами. Спаси нас від насильства, розбрату і заколоту, від гордості та зарозумілості. Захисти свободу, яка є вираженням Твоєї Божественної Волі. В цей період складності по всій нашій прабатьківщині Україні наповни наші серця вдячністю, і дай народу України, і всім нам благодать продовжувати вірити в Тебе і Твоє милосердя, як ми робили в попередні тривожні дні. Ми просимо про це, тому що знаємо, що Ти добрий і люблячий Бог, в якого ми благословенні через Отця і Сина і Святого Духа, завжди, нині і повсякчас і на віки віків. Амінь.
May the Grace of our Lord and Savior, the Love of God the Father and the Communion of the. Holy Spirit encompass us all. The Father is our Hope. The Son is our Refuge. The Holy Spirit is our Protection. Glory to You, our God, today and always, unto the ages of ages. Amen.
+ Antony, Metropolitan
+ Daniel, Bishop