Liverpool’s Ukrainian Community is praying for peace and the lives of their loved ones back home.
As the Russian tanks continue their relentless advance on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv Liverpool’s Ukrainian Catholic Congregation has turned to its church and the wider community for support.
On the eve of the invasion Father Taras Khomych told Mersey News Live reporter, Tess Penman, that the attack was not just an attack on Ukraine but on the whole civilised world. He said : Ukraine today stands for the values of freedom, democracy, free speech all these basic values of civilisation.”
Father Taras serves as a priest in St Sebastian Church in Fairfield, where his congregation normally meets once a month.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine last week, he has held more prayer meetings , including one on the steps the Roman Catholic Cathedral, where his own congregation was joined by representatives from all denominations.
He praised the city for it’s solidarity and support. He urged people to stay calm and not to panic: “Pray for peace in the Ukraine but do whatever you can to support the Ukraine.”
Father Taras said he had received many calls and messages from Ukrainians living in Liverpool.
He added: “They are scared for their families and for their home. A lot of them came to me because they want to come together and pray, which is what we do when we are in a time of crisis.”
Father Taras’ own family lives on the Western border in Lviv, “I speak to my parents every week and although they are far away from the eastern border, their safety is not guaranteed so of course they are worried.”
He also mentioned how the Ukrainian community in Liverpool is coming together during the conflict to support one another and praised the city for its solidarity, “I am thankful for the prayers and Ukraine is thankful. This isn’t just an attack on Ukraine, this is an attack on global civilisation. Russia isn’t just attacking Ukraine, they are attacking the values of freedom, independence, democracy and the human rights that Ukraine stands for.”
Despite Ukraine facing its darkest day in recent history, Father Taras is confident that they will not be defeated, “In Greek, the Devil is called O Diavolos, which means he who destructs and he who divides, and that is what Putin is doing. As faithful people, we are given a God given dignity and Putin is trying to take that away from us. He can divide and he can destruct but he will not defeat Ukraine because Ukrainians know what they are fighting for.”
For the full interview, Click here.