Orthodox hierarchs send Paschal greetings to persecuted Ukrainian Church

Kiev, April 30, 2021

Bp. Joanikije of Budimlja of the Serbian Church was among the hierarchs to greet the Ukrainian faithful. Photo: news.church.ua Bp. Joanikije of Budimlja of the Serbian Church was among the hierarchs to greet the Ukrainian faithful. Photo: news.church.ua     

The suffering faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have received a number of Paschal greetings from hierarchs of various Local Churches who stand with the canonical Ukrainian Church as it faces persecution from Ukrainian authorities, schismatics, and the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

His Grace Bishop Joanikije of Budimlja and Nikšić, administrator of the Metropolis of Montenegro of the Serbian Orthodox Church said in a video greeting:

I cordially congratulate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and all the beloved hierarchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the priesthood, monasticism and the faithful people on the holy feast of the Resurrection of Christ, the Most Holy Pascha—the feast of the transition from death to life!

I prayerfully wish the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its faithful people that on this great feast they would celebrate with great joy, that the shedding of fraternal blood would stop, that peace would reign, and there would be brotherly love between all people of good will in the fraternal Slavic country.

Sharing with you, dear brothers and sisters, the joy of the great Paschal celebration, I wish that the Lord would give Divine power to overcome sin, lies and fraternal division, so that you would always be part of His Resurrection!

Christ is risen!

His Eminence Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church said:

Christ is Risen!

Your Beatitude! Dear Vladyka Metropolitan Onuphry, Metropolitan of All Ukraine, brother bishops, fathers, monks, brothers and sisters of the fraternal Orthodox Ukraine!

With all my heart and soul, I congratulate you on this greatest feast of the Resurrection of Christ! I wish your country and your holy Church spiritual prosperity! May the Lord bless beautiful Orthodox Ukraine, and grant peace, spiritual prosperity, wellbeing, and salvation to Christians.

The Bulgarian Church and the Ukrainian Church are one Body of Christ. We live by the Spirit of Christ. And, brethren, if one rejoices, the other rejoices with him. If one suffers, the other will suffer with him. Such is our love—we rejoice in your success, we are glad that in all your difficulties you have the spiritual life and you have faith that is an example for us.

History has shown that the Lord sends great leaders, great mentors, in times of trial, especially to the peoples He loves. And now the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has a great pastor—Vladyka Onuphry, who is a man of holy life, a man of prayer, an ascetic. And we see that with his love, with his peace, he unites the children of the Orthodox Church, protects them from wolves, and with his prayers protects them from danger and temptation.

Dear brothers, dear Orthodox Christians, dear Bishops, Your Eminences! We wish with all our heart, may the Lord grant you all His blessings! May the Risen Lord reward you for all your difficulties with His great Divine joy, and grant salvation to all of you and your spiritual children. For us, you are an example of true faith in Christ. We ask for your holy prayers!

Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!

His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Tamassos of the Cypriot Orthodox Church said:

On behalf of the Diocese of Tamassos and Orinis of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, I would like to congratulate the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian Church and, personally, Metropolitan Onuphry—the Primate of the Church—on the feast of Holy Pascha, the bright and Holy Resurrection! Christ is Risen!

In these Paschal days, we feel the joy that the light of Christ has brought to the earth, and we would like to share it with all Orthodox people, especially with our Orthodox Ukrainians, who are experiencing great temptations in recent years, and the local Church suffers great temptations.

We would like to assure you that in these Paschal days, we are with you, we pray for you, for your unity, and that peace would reign in the Ukrainian land, that all military actions would cease and the military actions against the Church.

Christ is Risen! We always remember and love you! God bless you!

His Eminence Archbishop Juraj of Michalovce and Košice of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia said:

For more than a year, the coronavirus epidemic has been raging and tormenting the whole world. At the same time, the God-saved Ukraine has its own cross. All of us in the world profess the way of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, passing through this difficult time. But trusting in the word of God, uttered at the appearance of the Holy Cross of the Lord to the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine the Great: “By this sign, conquer!”—we firmly believe and know that if we manage to bring our sufferings to the Cross of the Lord, then after every cross there is a Resurrection. Only after suffering, when a man is crucified to Christ, does the Resurrection come.

On this occasion, today, on Great and Holy Monday, at the very beginning of Holy Week, we here in Slovakia, in the cathedral of the Orthodox city of Košice, want to congratulate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine—the canonical Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—and his flock, entrusted by God, with the coming bright triumph of the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ over death, fear, disease, and sin.

We rejoice with you, and we hope with you, and we look forward to meeting again and serving together, concelebrating with you, Your Beatitude, and being blessed by your words.

On this occasion, already anticipating the arrival of the celebration, we take off our mask and are happy to say to you and everyone: “Christ is risen!”

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