Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    Epifaniy: Memory of extermination of our people “still hurts”

    “It has been a century since the beginning of the first of a series of consciously engineered Holodomors in Ukraine, organized by the Bolsheviks. But it still hurts us to remember the injustice, hate, lies, unpunished crimes, crimes against humanity, the deliberate mass extermination of our people by godless communist-bolshevik authorities,” Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, wrote on Facebook, addressing Ukrainians on the Day of Remembrance of Holodomor Victims.

    “For almost three decades, the Ukrainian people had been suffering from deliberately engineered Holodomors and their fallout, and then for several more decades – from lies, silence, and intimidation for revealing the truth about those crimes. We read with horror “drop by drop” the recollections, collected from old-timers and our older generation. They were never willing to talk about it and would prefer not to revisit those horrors, because it is difficult to find anything worse than the torment of violent starvation – amid a good harvest, with fertile lands – for hard-working Ukrainian peasants,” His Holiness wrote.

    Metropolitan Epifaniy recalled that it was “not a famine, it was a planned Holodomor, and not one, but at least three.”

    The villages devastated by the Holodomor were then filled by resettlers from the neighboring country. This was how the Kremlin “broke” the spine of our freedom-loving nation and consolidated own rule in “conquered” lands. Today, Epifaniy stressed, the Kremlin “continues to issue orders that kill our brothers and sisters in eastern Ukraine almost every day…”

    The Holodomor will forever remain in our national memory. We will all experience its long-term consequences because even those who survived the tragedy sustained grave mental and spiritual wounds, irreparable pain from the loss of loved ones – parents and children – and this could not but affect the worldview, behavior, and character.

    The OCU head has called on believers to pray for all victims of the Holodomor.

    “Lord! Remember the souls of all those who perished innocently from the Holodomor and other repressions, our tortured and murdered brothers and sisters. Grant eternal peace in Your bright homes to those who have gone through terrible mental anguish, watching the suffering of their own children. Rest, O God, all the victims of the Holodomor and the repression in the homes of the righteous. Accept, God, as martyrdom their pain and tears. By the holy prayers of the dead and the memory of them, cleanse us today, Lord, from all indifference and cruelty, hatred and intolerance. And may, Lord, by Your mercy, such a disaster will never happen again in this world. Amen,” Epifaniy concluded.

    Holodomor Remembrance Day has been celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday in November.