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Ukraine Priests in Frontlines, Ministering to People Amid Violence
Christian Post ^ | February 21, 2014 | Stoyan Zaimov

Posted on 02/22/2014 3:02:41 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o


Ukraine priests speaking to the crowd at the backdrop of armed guards

Striking images have been released, showing Ukrainian priests on the front lines before armed guards and burning barricades, reaching out to the people in the midst of violent conflict between the Ukrainian government and protesters, which led to close to 100 deaths on Thursday.

"Ukraine's Orthodox and Catholic priests have been frequently seen on or near the front lines of the clashes, ministering to protesters and riot police alike, though at times some have appeared to more closely align themselves near the protesters," The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

Ukraine's opposition leaders and President Viktor Yanukovich signed a deal on Friday to end violence. The EU-mediated peace deal came after a previous truce on Wednesday between the Ukrainian government and protesters failed, leading to fresh clashes where close to 100 people were killed and over 500 injured.

The Obama administration expressed its outrage on Thursday following the clashes.

Tensions in the Eastern European nation reached a boiling point in the past couple of weeks, stemming from Yanukovich's decision in November to stay loyal to Ukraine's economic relations with Russia and refuse to sign a trade deal with the European Union.

Ukraine is largely a non-religious country, according to a poll in 2006 which found that 62.5 of the population identify as non-religious or do not belong to a specific church, though the biggest religion is Eastern Orthodoxy (26.8 percent). Roman Catholics make up 5.9 percent of the population.

The Economist noted on Friday that the religious environment in Ukraine is a complicated one, as there are four church organizations which claim to be the main Ukrainian branch, though the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is officially recognized as the legitimate body by other Orthodox churches around the world.

"Among the most striking and inspiring images to emerge from the battle-scarred streets of Kiev have been photographs of priests, alone or in groups, standing between protesters and police, offering blessings, tending the wounded and praying over the dead," The Economist wrote, before delving into the history of Eastern Orthodoxy in the nation.

The main message coming out from churches seems to be a call for an end to the bloodshed, with priests condemning the violence that has gripped Ukraine this past week.

"With great regret I should say that appeals of churches to prevent the bloodshed and a peaceful settlement of the conflict has not been heard," said Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Sviatoslav Shevchuk in statement to BosNewsLife earlier this week.

"In the name of God I condemn violence and disregard of human rights and the will of the people," he added. "I would like to emphasize that the one who has the power, bears full responsibility for what is happening in the country."



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: catholic; orthodox; russia; shevchuk; ukraine; ukrainecrisis; viktoryanukovich
BTW, President Yanukovych has said he's not going to resign, and the situation still looks extremely murky. This seems almost likethe beginning of a proxy war between the EU and Russia.

I hadn't realized that the level of religious affiliation had dropped so low in the Ukraine. May God bless these priests and protect them, and turn the police and security forces to refuse and resist when called on to brutalize the people.

1 posted on 02/22/2014 3:02:41 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Amazing!


3 posted on 02/22/2014 3:13:15 PM PST by mgist (.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Such brave men.


4 posted on 02/22/2014 3:14:56 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: mgist

Have Mercy on us, Dear Father.


5 posted on 02/22/2014 3:15:35 PM PST by mgist (.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

It makes no difference what Yanukovych says. The Rada has removed him from office, and the military today stated quite clearly that it’s allegiance lies with the people of Ukraine and the constitution.

Yanukovych is apparently trying to flee the country, with no success. The Ukrainian border authorities are refusing to allow him to leave, and that’s probably because there’s going to be an arrest warrant out for him in the immediate future.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL6N0LR0UW20140222

His support is collapsing rapidly. Today the governor of the Kharkiv Region, along with the Mayor of Kharkiv, fled to Russia.

The only thing Yanukovych is President of at this point is the country club where’s he rumored to be hiding at. He’s done, and I’ll be honest.....Putin isn’t going to start a war to restore Yanukovych to power. It would be a bloodbath Russia can ill-afford. The Crimea and the Sevastopol port and shipyards is another matter; he might do something about that, but then again Putin isn’t Leonid Brezhnev and Ukraine isn’t 1956 Hungary or 1968 Czechoslovakia. It’s not even Georgia in 2008.

The Ukrainians would fight back under such a scenario and Ukrainian nationalism is intense; they’ll give Putin the bloodiest nose he could imagine.


6 posted on 02/22/2014 3:20:02 PM PST by AnAmericanAbroad (It's all bread and circuses for the future prey of the Morlocks.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Unfortunately, AP images cannot be posted.

But they are certainly powerful and worth seeing, so here are the links to the first, and second.

8 posted on 02/22/2014 3:21:46 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: All
The image in #7.
9 posted on 02/22/2014 3:23:41 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: Admin Moderator
Thank you so much. I didn't realize the pictures were AP: I'd plucked them off of an Orthodox website.

I appreciate you providing the links!

10 posted on 02/22/2014 3:24:21 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("I set before you this day Life and Death, a Blessing and a Curse. Therefore choose LIfe.....")
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Look for the attribution in the lower corners. Just FYI, Getty and AFP are also off limits.

Great pictures, thanks.


11 posted on 02/22/2014 3:26:18 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: Mrs. Don-o


12 posted on 02/22/2014 3:28:07 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Admin Moderator
thank you for the links...
13 posted on 02/22/2014 3:29:21 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Chode

You’re welcome.


14 posted on 02/22/2014 3:31:51 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: Admin Moderator

Thank you, Admin Mod.


15 posted on 02/22/2014 3:32:57 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

The Obama administration expressed its outrage on Thursday following the clashes.

I must have missed that, where did he express his
outrage, on the back nine?


16 posted on 02/22/2014 4:06:45 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: tet68

Ha ha! Over a beer, I suppose, with his feet propped up and his boyfriends gone to fetch the nachos and cheese.


17 posted on 02/22/2014 4:29:37 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I have no doubt whose side the Catholic Church in this country would be on under similar circumstances. The Church is so in the tank with the government/establishment there’s no way they would support the side demanding the return to the principles of the Founders.


18 posted on 02/22/2014 4:49:24 PM PST by huckfillary
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Incredible pictures! The first one is like one of those you will see in history books many years from now.

Prayers for the people of Ukraine.

19 posted on 02/22/2014 5:24:51 PM PST by Pajamajan (Pray for our nation. Thank the Lord for everything you have. Don't wait. Do it today.)
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To: Admin Moderator

Thank so much for the links to the pictures. That was very nice of you.

I hope if that day ever comes here, we will find brave patriots and religious leaders of all groups that will stand for freedom.

I’d type more, but after seeing these images, my computer screen turned blurry for some reason..........


20 posted on 02/22/2014 5:30:13 PM PST by exit82 ("The Taliban is on the inside of the building" E. Nordstrom 10-10-12)
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

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