By Kostas Onisenko
On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s attack on the USSR in 1941, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine posted an anti-war message on his social media referring to the great Gift of the Lord, which is the human life and the obligation to protect this Gift.
He also referred to the fact that today, almost a century after World War II, Ukraine is shaken by another war, which has been provoked by Russia’s aggressiveness.
Read below the message of Metropolitan Epifaniy:
“War is a phenomenon that does not characterize human nature, as God made it, pure, sacrificial, humble, kind, and loving. Disagreement and war come from the sin of man, which has been caused by original sin but which we can resist. And the world would not know wars if mankind listened to the Word of God cultivating the virtues within it and resisting evil.
Today we honor the memory of the victims of the greatest war of the 20th century. The victims of World War II are not only the 10 million but also all those whose lives were desecrated and distorted by this bloody vortex, which passed through Ukraine, from west to east and vice versa. Residents of burned and destroyed towns and villages, people who lost loved ones, their property, those forced to emigrate, victims of concentration camps and terror – we all remember them in our prayers.
In Ukraine, the days of remembrance of the victims of World War II are held under the slogan “Never again!”. We realize that these murderous crimes must never be repeated, forgotten and that human life is of the utmost value, for the preservation of which each of us has a responsibility.
Unfortunately, not everyone learns from the teachings of the past. Today in the east of Ukraine, war is raging again, in the 21st century now, caused by the aggressive mood of Russia. War, in which our brothers and sisters are killed, has no mercy and does not distinguish who is right and who is wrong, who forcibly takes away the Gift of God-human lives.
With the words “Never again!” and with the blessing of God, our soldiers go east, to the trenches – not to allow the attacker to go unpunished, to seize, to take what does not belong to him, and to destroy what he cannot reach. In order for the war front not to pass through all of Ukraine, leaving ashes, pain, and tears. Never again.
Let us pray today for the victims of the war in Ukraine and we will pray to the Lord that victory and just peace may reign in our common home.”
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