Epistle on the 81st anniversary of the 1932-33 Famine-Genocide in Ukraine

January 2015

CONSISTORY OF THE UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
OFFICE OF PUBLIC REATIONS
PRESS RELEASE

Epistle of the Permanent Conference of Ukrainian Orthodox Bishops Beyond the Borders of Ukraine оn the 81st anniversary of the 1932-33 Famine-Genocide in Ukraine

To the beloved clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches
beyond the borders of Ukraine in North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand,

Dearly beloved brothers and sisters,

At present, when our native homeland of Ukraine is enduring perhaps its greatest trials since achieving independence, we Ukrainians in the Diaspora and in Ukraine remember the Holodomor of 1932-33, this most sorrowful and tragic event in our Ukrainian history. Together, we prayerfully honour the memory of millions of innocent people who were martyred by hunger in Ukraine.

Today, much scholarly research have been conducted, and many scientific studies have been completed. They confirm unequivocally the fact that the famine in Ukraine in 1932-33 was deliberately created by a totalitarian regime whose aim was to deliberately destroy the Ukrainian nation. Only a godless and atheistic government would contemplate the extermination by famine of the Ukrainian people – a time-honoured and traditionally agricultural people, who also have been bearers of deep spirituality, culture and traditions. The communist regime attempted to mercilessly decimate the entire population by destroying it without concern for children, the young or the elderly. By creating an artificial famine and, thereby, physically destroying the Ukrainian people, the Bolshevik regime aimed to destroy and eradicate the reviled Ukrainian language, culture and the religious identity of the people. Therefore, the communist government was undoubtedly a godless regime which had built a paradise on earth without God. The Holodomor demonstrated that such an authority, in which there is no room for God, will only shed a sea of blood and build a living hell for millions.

The Holodomor is a wound that will always be a painful scar on the body of our nation. The magnitude of this tragedy is immense. We shall reap its “fruit” for centuries to come. For decades, this totalitarian system has been doing everything in its power to cover up and to erase this tragedy from the cultural memory and history of the Ukrainian nation. Without exaggeration, this famine is a tragedy not only for the Ukrainian people, but for all of humanity.

Today, we need to continue to expend great efforts to convey the truth and the real history of this, our national tragedy, to the furthest corners of the world where this truth may not yet have reached, or where it may have been heard in a distorted form. It is no secret that the forces of evil continue, even now, to try to hide, silence or distort the historical truth about the horrors of the Holodomor in Ukraine in the 20th century.

It is within our power and it is our duty to preserve the memory of the death of the millions of our brothers and sisters. Let this sorrowful day when we remember the terrible tragedy of the past century always be one of personal prayer and remembrance for all of the victims of the Holodomor. On this day of remembrance of the victims of the Holodomor, let us each light a candle for our countrymen who were exterminated. With sincere prayers to the Lord, let us entreat Him to give them rest in His Kingdom of Heaven and forgive them their sins. May He give us His blessing to preserve and support our independent Ukraine which the God-loving Ukrainian people currently are defending and protecting at great cost.

With Archpastoral Blessings,

† YURIJ, Metropolitan,
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
† ANTONY, Metropolitan,
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
Locum Tenens of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Diaspora
† IOAN, Archbishop,
Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Diaspora
† JEREMIAH, Archbishop,
Ukrainian Orthodox Eparchy of Brazil and South America
† ILARION, Bishop,
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
† ANDRIY, Bishop,
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
† DANIEL, Bishop,
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA

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