Tears, pain, losses, bombing, separatists, militants, the National Guard, hostages, death, annexation, aggression, war … In Ukraine… There is a war. Here in Ukraine there is a war!
Over the past six months vocabulary of Ukrainians has been replenished by these words. And these words are not just about something that is happening somewhere in the Middle East or in Chechnya, because that’s what we are accustomed to, unfortunately. This happens here! We have it in Ukraine, where citizens could not even imagine that something like this could happen. Ukraine – peaceful, hospitable, warm, picturesque Ukraine, where representatives of different ethnic groups and religions have lived in peace since its independence. They helped each other, created families, raised children, and build businesses. And now the east of the country is on fire, but we cannot and do not have any right to say that the war is just in the east of the country. The war is very close. Someone’s brother or husband or sun or good friend or neighbor is protecting the independence of Ukraine and someone’s dear person joined the militants because he strongly believes that “Bandera’s junta” and “fascists” are in Kiev. And he also became a “cargo 200” as well as those who defended Ukraine from aggression.
It’s scary, unfathomable, and incomprehensible. In the 21st century in the heart of Europe there is bloodshed. People are murdered. Thousands of refugees. And a lot of pain, resentment, tears!
Human life – is the most valuable thing in the world. It is bestowed by G-d, and no one under any circumstances has no right to deprive another person of this priceless gift. It is a mortal sin!
Ukraine needs peace. Tolerant, united and indivisible Ukraine with all its religions and ethnicities is thirsty for peace!
For the sake of peace and in order to stop blood ACF “To You” initiated an interfaith prayer “To You and To Ukraine.” The clergy of all faiths came together in the press center Glavcom on July 24, 2014 to appeal to their flock, to encourage people to peace and to read a prayer for peace in Ukraine. Each one was reading his own prayer in his own language but all prayers and words were facing towards the one Creator, who is Love.
Father Cyprian, Roman Catholic Church, Archpriest George Kovalenko, a spokesman for the UOC-MP, Rabbi Alexander Dukhovnyy, Chief Rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine of Progressive Judaism, Sheikh Rustam Gafuri, Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Ukraine, Yulia Goldenberg, ACF 2U Chair, Bishop Vladimir, Bishop Vyshgorodsky and Podolsky, UAOC; Rabbi Jonathan Markovich, Chief Rabbi of Kiev, a priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Ihor Shaban, and the UOC-KP priest Alexander Shmurygin were sitting around one table.
All representatives of the clergy were unanimous in the view that the Ukrainian people are asserting their independence; that we have no civil war and that with G-d help the bloodshed will be stopped.
ACF 2U Chair Julia Goldenberg emphasized: “The fact that representatives of clergy of different confessions gathered together for the sake of peace in the country is the best illustration and evidence of unity of the people of Ukraine. The prayer that goes from the bottom of the heart could change a lot!”
All representatives of the clergy were praying not only for their flocks and peace for them, but for all citizens of the country irrespective of their religion, because we are all children of G-d and the sons and daughters of Ukraine.