Met. Agafangel: We've been praying for 5 years to stop this insane war

Metropolitan Agafangel (Savvin) of Odessa and Izmail Photo: Zachem

Pray for admonition of the unwise so that they realize the evil they have caused, repent before their people and bow at their feet for patience, called the UOC hierarch.

The fratricidal war in Donbass has been going on for 5 years and we have been praying for its termination for 5 years, noted Metropolitan Agafangel (Savvin) of Odessa and Izmail. 

“We prayed that the Lord, the Author of life, the Finisher of our faith and salvation, would stop this insane fratricidal war so that our brothers and sisters, relatives, neighbours, children and grandchildren do not die, but live on this earth quietly and calmly. So that they please each other, so that they, by earning their daily bread, feel the care of the country's leadership be not divided into ‘friends’ and ‘foes’,” the words of Vladyka Agafangel were reported on the website of Gorlovka eparchy.

War is always associated with grief and tears; it is always travail, the hierarch of the UOC said. The floors in our churches are washed away with people's tears, he quoted the words of Metropolitan Sviatogorsk abbot Arseny (Yakovenko) and recalled that in whatever region of the country people lived, they are all citizens of Ukraine. And he added that the residents of Donbass are true patriots because despite being bombarded, they continue to remain loyal to their state.

“Here, on the land of Donetsk, people are great patriots, they remain loyal to their country and their people, they love each other,” said Vladyka Agafangel and noted that ordinary civilians, who work here and stand clear of politics, want those, whom it depends on, to sit down at the negotiating table at last and agree that peace should come to this long-suffering land.

Believers want all nations and nationalities to get along in Ukraine, whereas yesterday’s communists, who hated the Church, not to tell people what temple to go to, what language to speak and what faith to practice, he said. And he remembered how the parishioners of Odessa Eparchy supported the afflicted residents of Donbass.

“Odessa region was the first to help Donbass. Our people under bullets accompanied humanitarian aid transfers. It was the desire of our heart to share this grief with you so that you feel that you are not alone. We remember about you – both Odessa and other cities. We grieve and rejoice with you,” said Metropolitan Agafangel.

He stressed that "filled with evil, bile and hatred," Tomos did not bring peace, but further divided the people of Ukraine into "friends" and "foes". He called the flock to pray for the admonition of those who persecute the Church and their own fellow countrymen. Prayer is a great power that overcomes fear, hatred, envy, war, and bloodshed, he explained.

“Pray for all, that the Lord would bring the insensible to senses, give everyone a new heart and a new spirit so that they would realize the evil they inflicted and feel the need to repent before their people and bow at their feet for the huge patience they had,” concluded the bishop.

Recall, on May 13, 2019, President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky published a “message of peace” for residents of Donbass and Crimea, in which the heads of religious organizations of Ukraine also called for an end to the fratricidal war in Donbas. “I appeal with the word of love and for God's sake I ask those people in a position to do so to stop talking to each other in the language of canons and guns,” the Primate of the UOC called participants in the military conflict in Donbass. “We pray for you and we believe that God will triunph over any evil. And we believe that at last we will sit down at the negotiating table like civilized people. And we can resolve all the conflicts, all the questions that we have for each other with the help of human wisdom."

The head of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko refused to take part in this project. He did not want to voice the words about the need to stop talking in the language of canons and guns. In his opinion, such words can be viewed as a call for negotiations with representatives of the unrecognized republics. This fragment of the text was pronounced eventually by His Beatitude Onuphry.

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