Friday, June 04, 2010

The Ukraine

Latin-Rite Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, in Lviv, Ukraine (Former Lwow, Poland)




George Weigel, in his recent column, and others, have noted the new fears that are rising in Ukraine. For example, Rev. Borys Gudziak, the rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University, has reported harrassment and possible surveillance on the part of the Ukrainian state police. What it his "suspicious activity?" Presumably, he is being watched because he is the head of the university from which many students participated in the Orange Revolution--the peaceful revolution that promised sweeping democratic reforms five years ago.



I had an opportunity to visit Lviv in 2006, just after the Orange Revolution, and was impressed byt he new found freedom--especially the increasing ability of the Greek Catholic Church (in the Ukraine) to express itself freely and without fear. For over fifty years, the five million members of this Church found themselves as members of the largest illegal religious body int he world--and faced great persecution from the Soveit regime.



Unfortunately, under the new government of the Ukraine, many of the changes brought about by the Orange Revolution are slowly disappearing, with a new state crackdown on religious liberty.



Let's all pray for the triumph of freedom and civil rights in the Ukraine. I think of my friends whom I met there, who struggle with the hardships of daily life in this former Soviet republic, now coupled with the struggles of trying to live out their faith freely and without fear or intimidation. Yuriy, if you are reading this, know that you are in my prayers.

1 comment:

Ljudmila said...

Incredible how many of those countries that lived under Communist regimes for so long cannot somehow "decide" to live freely and respect the freedom of others. We do have to pray for them.