How Orthodox Faith Helps to Survive: People of Donbass Fight for Life under Harsh Fires

Nadezhda Filipchik – August 2015
Reported for OCP Media Network

Volunteers from Belarusian Orthodox Church regularly visit the regions of Ukraine devastated because of the long civil war. A few days ago they gave an interview to the journalists of the Belarusian Orthodox Christian news portal and told their impressions about their latest visit. Here is what they told.

One of the most important points of the Ukrainian city of Donetsk this day is the city hospital №21. The hospital is located in the Oktyabrski district of the city and is the only place where the people of the district can get medical help. A lot of people from the district were evacuated but those working in the hospital can’t leave the area because they are the only medical personnel there.

Oktyabrski district suffers from harsh gunfire and the staff of the hospital has to work in these conditions. Even during fighting medical cars bring wounded people to the hospital, surgeons perform important operations and doctors try to help their patients. The walls of the hospital were built from the white silica brick which is very strong so during fighting people living in the district try to hide near the hospital.

The people of Oktyabrski know a lot about war and fear. For example, a few days ago after a heavy fire a man died in the hospital – he had a heart rupture caused by fear.

The people of Oktyabrski say that prayer helps them to endure fighting every day. Belarusian Orthodox Church helped to set up a special room for prayers in the hospital №21. Both volunteers and the staff of the hospital worked a lot in order to make the room clean, beautiful and suitable for praying. Now medical staff comes here every morning and evening in order to say their prayers and to thank God for each day of their life. People pray here in order to spend some time with God and to get new energy and hope for the better. Even children here understand the idea which seems to be almost forgotten in our rapidly changing world – the idea that a man can’t live without faith.