Upon the invitation of Bishop William Stokes of the Diocese of New Jersey of the Episcopal Church, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel attended the proceedings of the 239th General Assembly at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Trenton, NJ.
Following the formal welcome by Bishop Stokes, Archbishop Daniel presented a reflection about the struggle of the people of Ukraine in the time of aggression by Russian Federation.
“…I am here this morning to share the pain and blessings of the people and nation of Ukraine, as they struggle to preserve and defend their freedom, while standing up to the barbaric attacks of Russian government…
…By all accounts, the Russian aggression war in Ukraine is the largest war on the European continent since the end of World War II. But just how TRAGIC the conflict has been in human terms, those killed and wounded in the first year of the invasion perpetrated by the Russian Federation, remains unknown.
JUST THINK OF IT:
365 days of war
365 days of murder
365 days of terror
Please, allow me to share with you some statistical information:
14 million Ukrainians forced to flee their homes
8 million refugees have fled to neighboring nations and beyond
5.9 million refugees internally displaced
350 churches bombed
760 hospitals bombed
3,139 schools bombed
1.7 billion people worldwide facing food insecurity
58,000 war crimes – killings, kidnappings (tens of thousands of children forcefully taken to Russia), bombings, assaults
365 days of war
365 days of terror
365 days of resistance
365 days of PRAYER
This ALL ads to nothing less than GENOCIDE… MAY THE HISTORY PAGES REMEMBER THIS as Genocide (another one!) against the people of Ukraine!
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. Their mandate was clear: to help children and young people whose lives and futures were at risk.
At least 972 children in Ukraine have been killed or injured by violence since the war escalated 12 months ago. And these are just the figures the UN has been able to verify. We believe the true number to be much higher.
The use of explosive weapons has caused most of the childhood casualties. These weapons do not discriminate between civilian and military, especially when used in populated areas as has been the case in Ukraine cities like Mariupol, Luhansk, Kremenchuk, Bahmut, Irpin, Bucha, Kherson and Vinnytsia. The list goes on and on and on.
Once again, as in all wars, the reckless decisions of adults are putting children at extreme risk. There are no armed operations of this kind that do not result in children being harmed.
Meanwhile, beyond the horror of children being killed or physically hurt in attacks, almost every child in Ukraine has been exposed to deeply distressing events, and those fleeing violence are at significant risk of family separation, violence, abuse, sexual exploitation, and trafficking.
When I hear the terminology of the NUCLEAR WEAPONS threat in the 21st century, I think of the irresponsibility of those who make the threats; I think of the vulnerability of our society, which bases human interaction on TRUST!
We all must stand firm in the ongoing battle in Ukraine, which really tests our ability to promote and protect peace and God’s gift of LIFE!
The Assembly solemnly received the remarks of the archbishop of the UOC of the USA, while offering prayers for the faithful of the Church and the most recent refugees that arrived the United States of America in the past year.
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The Diocese of New Jersey was founded in 1785, and is the second oldest diocese in the Episcopal Church, after the Diocese of Connecticut.
New Jersey ranks sixth out of 100 domestic dioceses in the Episcopal Church in the number of parishes. The diocese is 14th in number of baptized persons. The diocese originally covered the entire state; due to the growth of the church in the mid-1800s, the northern third was split off in 1874 to become the Diocese of Northern New Jersey, known today as the Diocese of Newark.
There are 144 congregations in this diocese, including seasonal, collegiate and institutional chapels. The oldest congregation in the diocese is Saint Peter’s Church in Perth Amboy, where services began in 1685. The oldest extant church building is St. Mary’s in Burlington, built in 1703 and enlarged several times. There are more than 15 colonial-era parishes in this diocese. The Diocese has a reputation for broad ethnic, liturgical and socio-economic diversity.
Photos by Fr. Ivan Tchopko