As the Russian Federation continued its assault upon the sovereign nation of Ukraine, destroying not only military installations, but, countless churches, schools, hospitals, and residential areas, and taking thousands of innocent lives, the people of the United States gathered inside the St. Andrew Memorial Church in New Jersey.
Joining His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Prime Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Diaspora, and His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy, was His Grace Bishop Saba of the Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church in North America. This evening the two Orthodox Churches, along with their faithful, joined together to beseech the Lord on behalf of Ukraine, asking for the safety of the innocent people, a cessation to the war, and a return to peace, praying in Ukrainian, English, and Georgian.
Surrounded by local clergy from the Ukrainian and Georgian Orthodox Churches, the hierarchs celebrated a Moleben, an intercessory Prayer Service, praying:
“Again, we pray for our God-loving and God-protected country the United States of America, for the Government and armed forces and for all the people; for our God-loving and God-protected ancestral homeland Ukraine and for all the people, that the Lord God help and aid them in all things and protect them from every enemy and adversary.”
His Eminence Metropolitan Antony prayed the moving prayer for Ukraine in Ukrainian, while His Eminence Archbishop Daniel prayed the same prayer a second time in English.
“Today, we have the nation of Ukraine, who for 30 years enjoyed relative freedom and independence and is recognized by the entire world, including the Russian Federation, once again being savagely attacked, being killed by the thousands, women, innocent children, infirm elderly, being attacked simply because they are “in the way”. Being attacked because they do not wish to abide by the rules of a Totalitarian government. They want to continue enjoying the freedom they have tasted during these last 30 years. The freedom that they had in their hearts, for nearly the last 2,000 years,” he said while reflecting on the current situation in Ukraine.
Bishop Saba said that he came to be with people of Ukraine, because “both our countries have been occupied by Russia.”
“In 2008 we said the next country would be Ukraine. But back then the world did not see it. Now we see that we are dealing with a dictator. My biggest pain is the largest problem in Ukraine and that is that the clergy do not recognize the evil. He stated that many bishops and patriarchs are wrongly blessing the people who are murdering innocent civilians. This is not the Christian way. Whomever believes in Christ must stand today with Ukraine, because today, the antichrist is attacking her,” Saba said.