Primate of Ukrainian Church Appeals for End to War

Replaces Carnival Festivities With Fasting, Prayer

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Recalling that this week is Carnival week, which precedes Lent, Metropolitan Onufra Berezovsky of Kiev, the primate of the Ukrainian Church, has announced that the Ukrainian Church has canceled all festivities that take place during this period.

Calling for an end to war, the primate, who is faithful to the Moscow Patriarchate, said Carnival’s usual festivities are to be replaced by prayer and fasting, reported AsiaNews.

«I appeal to the representatives of the world of art and culture, mass media and all compatriots to adhere to this initiative,” the primate said.

«Now is not the time for fun and entertainment,» he stressed, «it is a time for prayer and fasting, a time for remission of sins for the future of our Ukraine and her descendants.»

Yesterday, in Minsk, a fragile accord was signed by political leaders which entails a ceasefire from Feb. 15 and the beginning of the disarmament of the front lines. Some see this as a desirable prelude to dialogue between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists.

The Church has launched an appeal that «all those who call themselves Christians to immediately stop killing each other.»

In his message for the anniversary of the Maidan protests in Kiev, Onufra denounced that «There are dozens of victims among combatants and civilians every a day” and “the worst thing is that they include women, children and the elderly.»

A year ago on the square in Kiev, the symbol of the protest against then President Viktor Yanukovichi Kiev, 100 people were killed in clashes with security forces.

«Those victims,” Onufra reflected, “have become the beginning of an even greater tragedy which has written an even bloodier page in Ukrainian history this past year.»  

«Together with thousands of widows and orphans, inconsolable mothers of the best sons of Ukraine, who have died in the eastern regions of the country, together with all the needy and disabled, together with those who have lost their homes,” the message reads, “we pray to God to give wisdom and love Christian to those on both sides of this terrible bloodshed.”

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