Solidarity with Ukraine this Christmas

The war being waged against the civilian population of Ukraine—denying them light, heat and life itself—shocks the conscience. There is no silver lining, no higher purpose to the horror being deliberately visited on Ukraine’s families.

Nevertheless, their resilience allows us to hope for and work toward a better future. As Timothy Snyder put it, “Ukrainian resistance to what appeared to be overwhelming force reminded the world that democracy is not about accepting the apparent verdict of history. It is about making history; striving toward human values despite the weight of empire, oligarchy, and propaganda; and, in so doing, revealing previously unseen possibilities.”

At this time of the year in particular—when Christians around the world commemorate the humble commencement of a remarkable series of events that changed the world—hope is called for. Stanislav Shyrokoradiuk, Bishop of Odessa-Simferopol, said in an interview today that “More than ever, Christmas this year is the festival of longing for real peace to come amid all the misery we are currently experiencing. We will therefore celebrate Christmas more consciously than ever this year” (my translation). 

I will do my best to join him.

Comments

  1. Well said. Both the wards I visited in Germany this summer had 3-4 displaced Ukrainian families attending. What are you seeing in Vienna?

  2. We have two displaced families who have decided to join our ward. Back in the spring, the Vienna wards provided longer term housing to around 30 families, I think, and short term housing to more who were passing through. The movement of people is not as obvious any more, and I’m not sure how many have decided to make Vienna their home, but our stake still coordinates donations with the Kyiv stake, whose stake president came last week to pick up the latest load.

  3. Geoff- Aus says:

    Am I right in thinking trump supporting republicans could try to cut US aid to Ukraine?

  4. We have 10 hotels of refugees within our stake and can not meet their needs, but I hope it comforts those concerned here that the members here are very engaged in providing what they can for them in the short term. What either we or the broader community can continue to sustain boggles the mind as it is putting public services under immense pressure, but the good will and service at present in co-operation with the other churches is beautiful.

  5. “Ukrainian resistance to what appeared to be overwhelming force reminded the world that democracy is not about accepting the apparent verdict of history. It is about making history; striving toward human values despite the weight of empire, oligarchy, and propaganda; and, in so doing, revealing previously unseen possibilities.”

    I wonder if anyone said that when the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. The two situations are very similar. The US and Russia are oligarchies with Imperial ambitions who will deliberately target civilians and infastructure.

    There was/is no higher purpose in either conflict. The people in this world who make life miserable for God’s children are not found next to us across imaginary borders, they are above us.

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