Ecumenical Patriarch served a memorial service for Holodomor victims
In Istanbul, a Divine Liturgy and a memorial service were served for the victims of the Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine with the participation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
It was reported by a correspondent of UKRINFORM.
"Today we honor the 86th anniversary of the Holodomor and the memory of the victims of the genocide of the Stalinist regime against the Ukrainian people. Countless Ukrainian civilians – children, men and women –suffered from hunger and fought for their national identity, language and culture," the Ecumenical Patriarch believes.
He has noted that evil is still exercising its destructive influence on the world, but it is our duty to fight for the victory of good.
"The Ecumenical Patriarchate has decided to grant autocephaly to the people of God so that they can organize their lives in accordance with the foundations of the Holy Canons of the Church and its traditions, so that they have respect for the Mother Church and are in communication with other Orthodox churches," Bartholomew said.
He wished the Ukrainian people grace and mercy of God.
After the Liturgy, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Turkey Andriy Sibiga stressed that 86 years ago one of the largest tragedies in the history of mankind evolved in the territory of Ukraine.
“It was an absolute evil: innocent people died. Death gathered its "harvest" - 25 thousand daily. There are a lot of children among them. We must remember this, spread the truth, because it also has a clear legal qualification. It is a crime against humanity, it is genocide,” the diplomat said.
He thanked the consuls General of Canada, Moldova, Poland, the leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev, representatives of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar communities.
“Thank you for sharing this pain with us today, not getting less as the years go by, in this mournful prayer together with our Patriarch. This prayer is special because of what is happening in the new realities: the Ukrainian Church has returned to the bosom of the Mother Church, and our Patriarch is with us today honoring the memory of the victims of the Holodomor,” Sibiga said.
He also recalled that now through the aggression of the Russian Federation on Ukrainian soil people are dying. “Ukraine and the Ukrainian people are under attack again. People are dying again. We lost 13 thousand Ukrainians as a result of Russian aggression, which continues. Crimea and other Ukrainian territories have been occupied. The key is that they are temporarily occupied,” the Ambassador of Ukraine to Turkey emphasized.
The Divine Liturgy and memorial service for the victims of the Holodomor with the participation of the Ecumenical Patriarch took place not for the first time. Last year, on December 2, the Liturgy was celebrated in Istanbul. Also in September, services in memory of the victims of the Holodomor and the mourning action "Light the Candle of Memory" were held in Ankara.
In addition, last year two books about the Holodomor were published in Turkey: "Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-33 How? Why?" and" Methodology of Legal Assessment of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine As a Crime of Genocide", their authors Stanislav Kulchitsky and Volodymyr Vasilenko.
On November 23, Ukraine marks the Day of Remembrance of the victims of the Holodomor.
In November 2006, the Verkhovna Rada recognized the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as a genocide of the Ukrainian people. Out of the 195 countries in the world, 15 UN member States and the Vatican state recognize the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as an act of genocide in Ukraine at the interstate level.