Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholics rally the faithful


Religiia v Ukraine, 16 April 2021


The head of the PTsU [Orthodox Church of Ukraine], Metropolitan Epifany, addressed Ukrainians in connection with the aggressive actions of Russia—the deployment at the borders of Ukraine of a great number of troops and provocations on the Sea of Azov. Also on 15 April, Metropolitan of Ivano-Frankovsk Mudryi, of the UGKTs [Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church] during a meeting with Ciscarpathian journalists touched on the matter of the exacerbation of the situation on the eastern border of the state, Religiia v Ukraine reports, with reference to and the website of the UGKTs.


Epifany emphasized his confidence that it is necessary for peace to come to Ukraine, but Ukrainians' fear will not help this. "In these April days, we are entering the eighth year of war. A war that we did not want, did not initiate, and did not provoke. We have never encroached on what is someone else's, nor tried to enslave others, nor to seize their territory. A war in which we are defending land God gave to us, our people, and our values," Epifany emphasized.


Also, in Epifany's opinion, the aggressor country knows that the Ukrainian people cannot be destroyed by shelling nor by falsehood, and therefore it has begun to spread among Ukrainians the virus of fear and to increase psychological pressure.


The head of the PTsU recalled that the Ukrainian church has always supported the Ukrainian people.


Also on 15 April, Metropolitan of Ivano-Frankovsk Vladimir Mudryi of the UGKTs, during a meeting with Ciscarpathian journalists, touched on the issue of the exacerbation of the situation on the eastern border of the state.


He said that Ukraine is striving for freedom and not doing harm to anybody: "The church must now be concerned to avoid the greater trouble—war. Now is the time, not for banning any confessions but for opening churches and striving to live at peace and in love for everyone. Ukraine does not want to do harm to anybody. But the ideology that we once left is arising against us so as to deny us freedom and building up Ukraine and the foundation of democracy. We must defend all of this and pray to the Lord."


Metropolitan Vladimir noted, in particular, that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has always stood by its people: "Ukraine has already suffered so much. We all are ready for the war to end. But in the event, God forbid, of the necessity of defending our land, I think all of us who are children of this land will have to do as the older generation did and defend our land and church."


It is not only the Ukrainian metropolitan who is concerned about the amassing of military forces of the Russian Federation on the Ukrainian border. Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed their concern. And American President Joe Biden called for de-escalation and a diplomatic resolution of the conflict. (tr. by PDS, posted 16 April 2021)

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