In preparation for the 80thanniversary of the 1932-33 famine in the Ukraine the country’s churches have issued a statement.
The famine was part of the terror campaign carried out in the 1930s by the Russian communist regime headed by Joseph Stalin.
On the occasion of the anniversary of what is known as the 1932-1933 Holodomor, the clergy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP) prepared a joint appeal to the faithful. They clergy invite the faithful to honor the victims of the famine, clean up their memorial sites, and participate in worship, according to a report by the Religious Information Service of Ukraine.
“We want this to be a day of commemoration and prayer. Unfortunately, when these people died, very rarely were proper burial rites performed. Therefore, our duty is not only to remember them, but to pray for them,” said Archbishop Yevstratiy of the UOC-KP.
Church remembrance services will be held on November 23.
“The memory of millions of lost lives, the pain of hundreds of thousands of families, unites most of the citizens of Ukraine, who always on the fourth Saturday of November light a candle of remembrance and go to the memorial places in Kyiv and in their cities and villages,” the statement explained.
“This memory actively contributes to social peace and understanding among people, united by a shared pain about the past and a hope for the future,” the church leaders declared.