ROME — Ukrainian Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk urged his compatriots who have been forced from their homeland to be “worthy ambassadors” of Ukraine.
While continuing to criticize Russia’s relentless attack, Archbishop Shevchuk addressed Ukrainian refugees in a video message Sunday, reminding them that they are the face and voice of Ukraine to the world.
“I ask you to be worthy ambassadors of your homeland, because when people meet you, they want to see, hear and meet Ukraine in your face,” the archbishop said. “Please preserve your culture, language, church and religious identity.”
In a series of specific directives, Shevchuk — the head of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church — encouraged refugees “scattered throughout the countries of Central and Western Europe, as well as in other parts of the world” to join Ukrainian communities in the countries where they find themselves. themselves and to keep their Christian culture alive.
“Take care of the Christian and ethnic upbringing of your children,” he said. “Please do not abuse the hospitality of those peoples who welcome you. Don’t just be consumers of their help, but actively participate in the work.”
“To increase the common good of the country that has become your new home today, integrate yourself into the life of this country,” he urged. “But with all your strength resist assimilation, the disappearance of your personal, cultural and national identity.”
“Be the voice of Ukraine to the world,” he said.
In his message, Shevchuk also reminded his listeners that the Ukrainian people have been fighting an “unequal struggle against the Russian aggressor” for 165 days.
“We as a people defend our God-given homeland, which we are called to love,” he said. “Our Homeland, where the Lord God gave us the gift of being born and growing up. This homeland, which is our priceless gift from God.”
The archbishop condemned the bombing of Russian carpets in the city of Mykolaiv, as well as the bombing of the city of Kharkiv, the Dnipropetrovsk region and the city of Nikopol.
“God, bless Ukraine. Bless our Ukrainian people,” he prayed. “Give us the strength to defeat evil in Your name. Bless our Ukrainian army. And let the long-awaited, just, peace of your God come to the Ukrainian land.”