02/13/2015, 00.00
UKRAINE-RUSSIA

In Minsk a fragile agreement. Onufra, Metropolitan of Kiev asks for prayers and cancels Carnival festivities

Nina Achmatova
A cease-fire will start from February 15, a last bid for a political solution to the conflict. The Primate of the Ukrainian Church, faithful to the Moscow Patriarchate, calls for repentance and prayer: Christians should not kill each other.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The primate of the Ukrainian Church, faithful to the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Onufra (Berezovsky) of Kiev, has appealed for an end to the war and during Carnival will replace the traditional festivities with fasting and prayer.

A fragile accord was signed yesterday in Minsk by political leaders.  It entails a ceasefire from February 15 and the beginning of the disarmament of the front lines, a desirable prelude to dialogue between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists.

The Church for its part has urged "all those who call themselves Christians to immediately stop killing each other". "There are dozens of victims among combatants and civilians every a day - denounced Onufra, in his message for the anniversary of the Maidan protests in Kiev - and the worst thing is that they include women, children and the elderly".

The Orthodox primate recalled that a year ago on the square in Kiev, the symbol of the protest against the then President Viktor Yanukovichi Kiev, a hundred people were killed in clashes with security forces. "Those victims have become the beginning of an even greater tragedy which has written an even bloodier page in Ukrainian history this past year," said Onufra.  

"Together with thousands of widows and orphans, inconsolable mothers of the best sons of Ukraine, who have died in the eastern regions of the country, together with all the needy and disabled, together with those who have lost their homes, we pray to God to give wisdom and love Christian to those on both sides of this terrible bloodshed, "reads the message.

Recalling that this week is Carnival week (in Russian it is called 'maslenitsa'), which precedes Lent, Onufra announced that the Ukrainian Church has canceled all  of the festivities, which usually take place during this period. "I appeal to the representatives of the world of art and culture, mass media and all compatriots to adhere to this initiative - he concluded - now is not the time for fun and entertainment, it is a time for prayer and fasting, a time for remission of sins for the future of our Ukraine and her descendants".

 

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