UOC cleric: Protecting believers affected by raiding is our common cause
Abp. Nikolai of Vasylkiv hopes that the “Read and Create” charity event in support of the persecuted communities of the UOC will grow into an all-Ukrainian movement.
The protection of believers from whom the temples have been seized is our common cause, said the vicar of the Kyiv Metropolis, Archbishop Nikolai (Pochtovyi) of Vasylkiv, in a commentary to the “1Kozak” channel at the first charity book fair of the UOC at the Holy Dormition Kyiv Caves Lavra.
According to the hierarch, the “Read and Create” fair, the organizers and participants of which raised funds for the construction of new churches for the communities affected by church raiding is a significant event.
“This is a good opportunity to remind everybody that the persecutions haven’t stopped, that they continue to this day, and that all Orthodox Christians in Ukraine are responsible for our parishes, including those seized, and protecting them is a common cause,” he said. “The fair shows that we are worried and want to help those who have been persecuted and from whom the churches were taken away, we are suffering with them, weeping with them, we hope that the time will come, and we will rejoice all together because we preserved the Church and expanded it, and most importantly, preserved people in the Church."
The Archbishop thanked all the participants and organizers of the charitable action, stressing that this is an important matter "and only the beginning, and God grant this fair will turn into an all-Ukrainian Orthodox movement".
“Perhaps, today people will raise funds for a few bricks, but it doesn't matter for the beginning. The main thing in our hearts is that we empathize with those who have survived persecution, and this is worth a lot. Therefore, we thank those who donate for the construction of temples, who work on the construction of temples, but we also thank those who simply pray for the construction of these temples. Thus, we all take part in the common cause of the restoration of the churches that were taken from us,” said the vicar of the Kyiv Metropolis.
As reported, during the two days of the “Read and Create” charity book fair, they managed to raise UAH 42,400. The action was held in support of the 40 Churches program of the Charitable Foundation "Favor", within the framework of which the fund has already provided aid to 39 communities of the UOC that suffered from church raiding.