CONSISTORY OF THE UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
OFFICE OF PUBLIC REATIONS
FAMINE – HOLODOMOR TORCH TO VISIT METROPOLIA CENTER ON 22 NATION TOUR
His Eminence Archbishop Antony, the President of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA has issued a letter to the faithful of the Church urging them to come to the Metropolia Center of the UOC of the USA at St. Andrew Memorial Church (South Bound Brook, NJ) on Monday evening – 26 May 2008 – to take part in a commemoration of the 10,000,000 people, who perished in the man-made famine of 1932-1933. The Archbishop quoted the News Release of the Ukrainian Congress Comitte of America encouraging the faithful to participate in this important event.
An International Holodomor Remembrance Flame commemorating the 75th anniversary of Stalin’s genocide against Ukrainians is scheduled to arrive St. Andrew Memorial Church, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, South Bound Brook, NJ at 7:00 p.m. – Monday – 26 May 2008.
The International Holodomor Remembrance Flame, lighted by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, left Ukraine last month on a worldwide tour. It will travel through 33 countries, including 23 cities in the United States, before reaching Ukraine in November 2008 to be part of the official state commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Ukraine’s Genocide of 1932-1933.
The torch relay was organized to help raise awareness of the forced famine in Ukraine in 1932-33, during which up to 10 million innocent victims were starved to death in a deliberate Soviet policy to crush the nationally conscious and independent-minded Ukrainian peasantry, at a time when the USSR was aiming to rapidly collectivize its agriculture.
At the height of the man-made famine, Ukrainian villagers were dying at the rate of 25,000 per day, or 17 per minute, resulting in one of the worst cases of man’s inhumanity towards man, and perhaps the most extreme example of the use of food as a weapon. The genocide is known in Ukrainian as Holodomor-- murder by starvation.
“The International Holodomor Remembrance Flame torch relay provides the Ukrainian American community with an opportunity to continue reminding the world about Stalin’s attempt to eradicate the Ukrainian nation by starving its people,” said Michael Sawkiw, president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America and chairman of the National Committee to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Genocide of 1932-33. “More than 20% of the population died as a result of the famine. At least three million of the victims were children,” he said.
Escorted by Ukraine’s Ambassadors and Consul Representatives, the International Holodomor Torch will arrive from Canada to the United States on May 4, 2008, and travel to 23 US cities before heading to South America on May 31st. During its journey through the United States, the Torch will visit various cities where sizable Ukrainian American communities reside, including: Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI; Cleveland, OH, Pittsburgh, PA; Buffalo, NY; Rochester/Syracuse, NY; Hartford, CT; Boston, MA; Yonkers, NY; Binghamton, NY; Albany, NY; Middlefield, OH; Ellenville/Kerhonkson, NY; South Bound Brook, NJ; New York City, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; and, Washington, DC.
The International Holodomor Remembrance Flame torch relay also serves as a reminder that genocides are still occurring around the world today. “As citizens of a free society,” noted Sawkiw, “it is our duty to recognize, acknowledge and promote the truth about the Holodomor, so that such atrocities against humanity are never repeated.” he said.
Despite strenuous objections by the government of Russia, the successor state to the USSR, the Holodomor has been officially recognized as genocide by a number of countries.
The Church looks forward to the full participation of the faithful in this commemoration on 26 May 2008 at 7:00 p.m..
WE CANNOT PERMIT OURSELVES TO FORGET!