Zaporozhye, Zaporozhye Province, Ukraine, July 17, 2023
“Every Orthodox Ukrainian is deeply touched by the actions of our Serbian brothers and sisters in Christ, aimed at protecting our Mother Church,” writes His Eminence Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
On June 20, an address signed by more than 100 academics and cultural figures in defense of the persecuted Ukrainian Orthodox Church was published.
“Given that we live in the 21st century, it is difficult to understand how many in today’s Ukraine, and even in Western countries, are not only indifferent but also agree with the unprecedented persecution of believers in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” reads the appeal signed by 109 professors, doctors, and others.
On Friday, Met. Luke published a note of gratitude, while also noting that the Church has always been persecuted, which only makes it stronger:
A GRATEFUL ADDRESS TO THE FRATERNAL SERBIAN PEOPLE FOR THEIR SUPPORT OF THE UOC
Beloved of the Lord, brothers and sisters in Christ!
From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you for the spiritual and prayerful support of our people—the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Every Orthodox Ukrainian is deeply touched by the actions of our Serbian brothers and sisters in Christ, aimed at protecting our Mother Church, which we learned about from the publication on the website Old Stvari (https://stanjestvari.com/2023/06/20/apel-upc-ruski/).
It is gratifying that the fraternal Orthodox people of Serbia are passionately concerned about the violation of fundamental human rights in Ukraine.
In any trouble, one must remember that the LORD, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed (Deut. 31:8).
From the very beginning and throughout history, the Church of Christ has been subjected to various persecutions and trials, which only made it stronger. It is founded on the blood of the martyrs, because it began with the first sacrifice for our Salvation—the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.
In today’s difficult time for our Mother Church, the words of the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians: Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong (1 Cor. 16:13) are often recalled. Our people, who trust in the Lord and continue to defend the Orthodox faith, sincerely thank our Serbian brothers for their support and manifestation of brotherly love!
We are glad to be spiritually united with the Serbian Orthodox Church, to be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me (Rom. 1:12).
With brotherly love and gratitude for your support, I wish that the inexhaustible grace of God might be with you all!
God is with us! He is and ever shall be!