I spoke to one of the Churchwardens in Christ Church, Kiev today. The parish is presently without a priest-in-charge, but the congregation is keeping church life going, even through the present crisis. The Archdeacon of the East is keeping in close contact with the church, as well, to offer support and encouragement.
Thankfully, later today it seems that the violence has subsided, and there may be signs of some peace being restored, and perhaps even a political solution emerging. We are asked particularly to pray for the rebuilding of trust among the people, that a lasting and just way forward can be found. We also pray for an end to the violence.
Apart from the immediate victims, those killed and injured, there are so many who have been affected by the economic crisis which has occurred as part of the political strife. There is much need among the people, and the small congregation are engaging in efforts to reach out in Christian love.
I sent this message to Christ Church, Kiev, on behalf of the Diocese today:
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ
The world has looked on with horror at the eruption of violence in Kiev, and the latest news of so many deaths and injured.
We in the Diocese in Europe pray with Christians everywhere that all the parties in the country will refrain from violence and that the authorities and armed protesters will exercise restraint. What is important now is the rebuilding of trust and moving towards a political settlement which will restore confidence among the people, and honour their desire for peace and a common future. We pray for God’s wisdom from above to guide all those within the country and those outside who are seeking to a lasting and just solution to the crisis.
Please know that your brothers and sisters in the Diocese are with you in prayer, particularly for the safety of all, and for a return to peace, security and stability. We also pray for those who have been affected economically, especially those already in vulnerable and marginalised situations. I commend the parish of Christ Church for every effort you make to reach out in Christian love to those in need at this time.
Of course, we also pray for those most affected by the violence, in particular those who have lost loved ones or suffered injury.
May you know God’s comfort and his peace.