From the UOC-USA: The use of force, confrontation, and violence will fail to resolve political issues!

Statement of the Council of Bishops of the UOC of the USA

The use of force, confrontation and violence will fail to resolve political issues!

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ!

The events of the last several days and especially the last several months in the life of independent Ukraine have caused the Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA to call upon the brothers and sisters in Ukraine to remain true to their aspirations to continue the development of true democratic society that has been under a severe threat. As you know from various media outlets, thousands of Ukrainian citizens have taken liberty to stand up for their beliefs by participating in protests-maydans throughout Ukraine and especially in the capital of Kyiv.

As we have stated in the past: throughout Ukraine’s history, millions of people have given their lives for freedom, dignity and human rights, in order to reclaim the right to peaceful demonstration as well as political and societal activity. We solemnly repeat – The voice of the street must be heard and respected and it cannot be silenced by the noise and uncertainties of those in leadership positions who choose to confuse and abuse by utilizing violence against the protestors. The use of force, confrontation and violence will fail to resolve political issues!

The country’s democratic future will depend on dialogue and the ability to listen to voice of Ukrainian citizens. It is essential that logic and calm prevail. No physical force will ever succeed in eliminating the free will and the voice of the citizenry! All the leaders and citizens of the Ukrainian nation must, as Saint Paul reminds us, clothe themselves in “heartfelt mercy, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.” (Col. 3:12)

We direct the clergy and parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA to serve a special Moleben service following Divine Liturgy on Sunday, January 26, 2014, beseeching the Lord to shed light on those in darkness, so that they may comprehend the seriousness of the present moment. The future of Ukraine may very well be determined by the actions and words of both those in governmental positions and those protesting peacefully on the streets out of love for their nation. A dialogue must be established between all concerned so as to avoid a degradation of the situation into chaos and economic ruin.

Embracing the gift of freedom with you, our spiritual children here in the United States of America and with those in Ukraine and in the hope of moving forward, rather than backward in history, we beseech with awe and thanksgiving the Father of lights and every perfect gift, the Son of righteousness and the Spirit of truth to descend upon us all, embrace us, guiding and perfecting our every deed.

+Antony, Metropolitan

+Daniel, Bishop

Prayer for Ukraine

Prayer for Ukraine! Молитва за Україну!

Let us Pray to the Lord — Lord have Mercy!

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 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 government 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.