ROME – Ukrainian Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk urged fellow countrymen who were forced to leave their homeland to become Ukraine’s “valued ambassadors”.
Archbishop Shevchuk addresses Ukrainian refugees in a video while continuing to denounce Russia’s relentless attack information On Sunday, remind them that they are the face and voice of Ukraine in the world.
“I ask you to be worthy ambassadors of your homeland, because when the world meets you, it wants to see, hear and meet Ukraine,” the archbishop said. “Please protect your culture, language, church and religious identity.”
In a series of specific instructions, Shevchuk, head of Ukraine’s Greek-Catholic Church, encouraged refugees “scattered in the countries of Central and Western Europe and other parts of the world” to join the Ukrainian community in their country and keep their Christian culture alive.
“Take care of your children’s Christian and ethnic education,” he said. “Please don’t abuse the hospitality of those who host you. Don’t just be the consumer they help, but actively participate in the work.”
“To add to the common good of the country that has become your new home today, integrate into the life of that country,” he urged. “But resist assimilation with all your might, resist the disappearance of your personal, cultural and national identity.”
“Being Ukraine’s voice to the world,” he said.
Shevchuk also reminded the audience in his speech that the Ukrainian people have been engaged in an “unequal struggle against the Russian aggressors” for 165 days.
“As a people, we defend the home God has given us, and we are called to love,” he said. “Our homeland, the gift of birth and growth from the Lord God. Homeland, this is the priceless treasure we have received from God.”
The archbishop condemned the Russian carpet bombing of the city of Mykolayiv, as well as the shelling of the cities of Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk region and 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 your long-awaited, just, God’s peace come to Ukrainian soil.”