Moscow, August 1, 2014
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, in the near future guidelines for the organization of aid to Ukrainian civilians will be sent out to dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church on the territory of Russia, reports the website of the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Ministry.
In accordance with the document, it was suggested that stocks of humanitarian aid for the refugees be created at churches, and it was recommended that dioceses receive Ukrainian citizens in diocesan institutions (orphanages and monasteries) and employ them, as far as possible.
The Church will devote special attention to assisting the most vulnerable categories of refugees: unmarried mothers with children, families with many children, the elderly, pregnant women and disabled people. The personal needs of these people will be ascertained by priests who will be in charge of taking all large centers of temporary accommodation under their patronage. Their duties will include not only spiritual and psychological aid to the refugees, but also the organization of humanitarian aid and the targeted meeting of requests of the most needy people.
Furthermore, the Church will assist refugees who are staying at their relatives’ and friends’ homes. “Diocesan churches should give permanent support to refugees living in private houses and flats: provide them with humanitarian aid and food, assist them with the execution of documents and the search for employment,” the document reads. In dioceses where refugees from the Ukraine are currently staying, work teams will be formed to unite all the church structures of the region that are involved in aiding the refugees.
At the present time over 500 refugees have taken shelter at church institutions in Priozersk, Kolomna, Kostroma, in the Rostov, Nizhny Novgorod, and Voronezh regions, in the Republic of Udmurtia (Russia) as well as in the Donetsk region in the Ukraine, and in the Crimea.
At present three monasteries of the Yekaterinburg Diocese as well as a number of other dioceses of central Russia are ready to receive refugees.
Hundreds of parishioners throughout Russia either have accommodated the refugees at their homes or are renting flats for them. The dioceses situated in the Rostov region are the most active in rendering aid to the refugees: over 400 tons of humanitarian aid were delivered to the refugees from the church humanitarian aid storage in the city of Rostov-on-Don alone; every day about 60 Ukrainian citizens are given aid at this storage. The Synodal Department for Charity has sponsored tickets for 40 refugees to Novosibirsk: there job positions have been prepared for them and living facilities have been created.
As of July 31, the Synodal Department for Charity has raised over 46 million rubles (US$1,283,643) altogether in support of civilians from the Ukraine. Detailed reports on the raising and expenditure of funds are published on the official website of the Synodal Department for Charity.