Evidence is mounting that Russian forces have committed war crimes and other atrocities against the peaceful people of Ukraine.
In response to the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe that is creating one of the worst humanitarian disasters in Europe since the end of World War II, Saint Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Jamaica Plain is collecting monetary donations for humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
The Church will ensure that any donations collected reaches those in need in the war torn country still under attack by Russian forces. The Russian invasion of the sovereign country has displaced millions of Ukrainians and left many remaining in the country with little food, clothes or shelter.
“Please be generous in supporting our brothers and sisters in Christ as they endure this most horrendous, unprovoked attack upon a free and democratic Ukraine,” the Church said in a statement posted on its website.
Last month, the Boston City Council invited Fr. Roman Tarnavsky, Pastor of Saint Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, to deliver the invocation before the start of the City Council meeting.
Fr. Roman, who has been pastor of the church for over 20 years, offered a prayer for the Ukrainian people and then gave some personal thoughts on the war raging in his ancestral homeland.
“Lord our God, we turn to you with humility in our hearts and bow our heads low before you,” Fr. Roman began. “We beseech your loving kindness and abundant blessings upon the nation (and) the people of Ukraine during these days of great danger to their safety and well being. Our brothers and sisters, Lord, are once again treated by aggressors who see them only as simple obstacles blocking the path to the complete domination of the precious land and resources of the country of Ukraine. Strengthen the people as they face this great danger, turning to you in the immeasurable deep faith, trust and love. They have placed in you all of their lives.”
After the invocation, Fr. Roman addressed the City Council, who passed a resolution condemning the illegal invasion of Ukraine and to call for an immediate end of conflict.
“Dear friends, ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for gathering here today to stand up against cynical evil and the inexcusable attack on my ancestral homeland of Ukraine,” said Fr. Roman. “These bombs and rockets continue to fall on our peaceful cities. We look in absolute horror and shock as our infrastructure is destroyed, our rich architecture and historical buildings, monuments and churches damaged and families displaced. Never in our dreams did we envision our people having to once again sleep in bomb shelters. Never did we think that we would have to explain to our children why their kindergarartens and playgrounds are being bombed and why there are other human beings trying to kill us.”
Fr. Roman continued, “Our people are loving and charitable, but they are also strong, courageous, full of resolve and ready to fight to defend their way of life. With all of you on our side, we know we are not alone. We thank our Western partners, the Biden Administration, the civil authorities in Massachusetts and all nations who are standing shoulder to shoulder with us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I believe that together we will be well. God bless you all for your kindness and love. Glory to Ukraine. Glory to our heroes. God bless America.”