For Ukraine it is extremely important that our pain is understood in Israel, Head of the UGCC to the President of Israel

Wednesday, 06 March 2019, 20:22
"Ukraine has been a victim of Russian aggression for five years. There was an annexation of the Crimea, the occupation of some parts of the Donbas, and Russian "Grad" missile systems and bullets do not understand whether you are a Catholic, an Orthodox, a Muslim or a Jew - they kill everyone. Now the Ukrainian people, which is an interconfessional and multi-ethnic society, are being wounded. And we all pray for peace," the Head of the UGCC addressed the President of the State of Israel Reuven Rivlin with these words.

The war in Ukraine, we hope, is the last Imperial war in Europe. Perhaps the pain and prayer of Ukraine can become "a voice crying in the desert": do not invest in war, because one firing of a "Grad" missile is very expensive.  All our efforts, prayers and solidarity are an investment in peace. For Ukraine and for its representatives of religious organizations, it is extremely important that our pain is understood in Israel," said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The Head of the Church is convinced that Israel and Ukraine historically have much in common. "We want to know your experience. We need to understand how the Israeli people now live, because the religious freedom that Israel professes, is also needed in Ukraine. This war in Ukraine is an attempt to bring everything back to the Soviet Union. For us, the Soviet Union means the loss of religious freedom among other things. After all, we were repressed by the Stalinist regime and, in fact, our Church was the largest official opposition to the communist regime," emphasized the spiritual leader of the Greek Catholics.

He noted that with independence, our Church was able to revive itself. "Therefore, our existence is connected with freedom of will and democracy in Ukraine as a state. Therefore, every contact and voice of solidarity at the international level is extremely necessary for us. After all, people in Ukraine need the world community to support the victims of this unjust aggression," said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The Greek-Catholic participant in the meeting expressed his gratitude to the President of Israel for his welcome and openness, as well as the hope that peace can be achieved through joint efforts.

"We pray for peace, we want to live in peace with all, but not everyone wants to live in peace with us. Our All-Ukrainian Council of Churches is one of the tools for building inter-religious, inter-confessional and inter-ethnic peace in Ukraine. We hope that through joint efforts here in Jerusalem, the Lord will hear Ukraine and bless our countries and give us peace," said His Beatitude Sviatoslav at the conclusion of his remarks.

The Head of the UGCC as part of the delegation of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches on March 4-6 is on an official visit to Israel. The program includes official meetings with the President of the State of Israel, Speaker of the Knesset (Parliament), as well as other Israeli politicians and religious leaders. These meetings are aimed at strengthening friendly Ukrainian-Israeli relations, an exchange of experiences in the field of state-confessional cooperation, further development of pilgrimage in the interests of both countries - both to Israel and to Ukraine.


Department of Information of the UGCC


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