Ecumenical Prayer For Unity Conducted In Kyiv
As part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, on January 24, 2010, in the St. Basil the Great Church (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC)) in Kyiv the representatives of the main denominations of Ukraine jointly prayed for the unity of Christians. That evening together with the head of UGCC, Patriarch Lubomyr in the joint prayer took part the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine Archbishop Ivan Yurkovich, clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyivan-Patriarchate and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, clergy of Ukrainian Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches, protestant pastors of the Church of Christians of the Evangelical Faith of Ukraine (Pentecostals), and the Kyivan Jewish Messiah society. The prayer was led by Bishop Joseph (Milian), auxiliary bishop of the Kyivan Archeparchy of the UGCC. So reported the web site of UGCC.
Speaking to those present, Patriarch Lubomyr said in particular that he is often with sarcasm asked: “Do you really think that unity between Christians is possible?” According to the head of the UGCC, one not need be surprised by such a question. “The sinful world does everything possible so that between people, and even more between Christ’s disciples, there was no unity. By the secular society’s criteria such unity is impossible,” Patriarch Lubomyr said. But those, who trust Jesus Christ, according to the speaker, have another answer, and it is positive: unity between Christians is possible and feasible. “When and how?” the head of the UGCC asked. “We take apostles for an example. They saw that the world did with Jesus Christ. He was crucified as the biggest criminal. However, He was resurrected and they believed in Him insomuch that for faith they were ready to give everything, even their lives.”
Today the achievement of unity between Christians depends on what we are ready to give in order to carry it out. “Jesus Christ, in order to prove His love to us, allowed Himself to be crucified on a cross. His apostles, His witnesses, gave their lives for Christ. How much, dearly beloved in Christ, are we ready to give to make unity possible?” asked Patriarch Lubomyr. On his persuasion, very few of us will be called to give the greatest sacrifice: to give one’s life for Christ’s truth. However, we all “have to cast aside everything that hinders the unity, and rather do everything we can so that unity is reached.” “If with our actions, with our lives we will prove our faith, then that force which revived Jesus Christ, God’s force, will operate among us and in spite of the mockery and malevolence unity will be achieved,” remarked the head of the UGCC.
At the completion the guests and participants of the prayer had the opportunity to greet all the people who came to the St. Basil Church. In addition to the clergy, Mr. Yurii Reshetnikov, the head of the State Committee on Nationalities and Religions, also addressed all those present.
Commenting on the meeting, Deacon Ihor Shaban, head of Commission of the UGCC for assistance of unity between Christians, remarked in particular: “Such joint prayer is a unique method for people to learn to be with each other and be friends, to learn to not see in other Christians a threat, but first and foremost, another Christian. To learn to be tolerant, first of all, will be the first step in the dialogue.”