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  5. “Madness is to sow hatred among the Ukrainian people during the war,” – hierarch of the UOC

“Madness is to sow hatred among the Ukrainian people during the war,” – hierarch of the UOC

Bishop of Belogorodsky, Vicar of the Kiev Metropolis, Rector of the Kiev Theological Academy and Seminary, Head of the South-Eastern Kiev Vicariate Sylvester (Stoychev) published an appeal on his Facebook about the invasion of the Russian troops.

“In these terrible days, when the war came to our house, I consider it my duty to tell about what my mind and heart are now busy with. Troops of the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine. Civilians of our cities and villages are dying. Hundreds of thousands of people have already become refugees or forced migrants. Many people lost their homes and food. The Ukrainian military heroically defend their land with the value of their lives. We also see a mass manifestation of heroism among ordinary people who stop tanks with their bare hands.

In this difficult moment, I, first of all, want to express words of support for our Motherland, Ukraine and its defenders. I lift up prayers for the Ukrainian soldiers and ask God to end the war as soon as possible and stop this madness.

These days, many unflattering words and outright lies were said against our Ukrainian Orthodox Church. War is madness. But no less madness is the attempts during the war to sow hatred and mistrust among the Ukrainian people. It only weakens us from within and helps the enemy. Our Church unequivocally condemns the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation and does not provide any support to the conquerors.

A wise pastoral assessment of what was happening was given already on the first day of the war by the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kyiv and All Ukraine. Also on February 28, the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church issued an appeal to the flock on the current difficult situation. I fully support the appeals of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry and the Holy Synod. It is these documents that should serve as a guideline for us to assess what is happening.

At the Kiev Theological Academy, we pray for Ukraine, for our state and for the valiant Ukrainian soldiers. With pain in my heart, I pray for the suffering people of Ukraine. I ask our Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy on us and stop this terrible bloodshed,” writes Bishop Sylvester.

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