Memorial Service for the Victims of the Holodomor in Seoul and Tokyo

On Sunday, November 20, 2022, the Metropolitan of Korea and Exarch of Japan Ambrosios, assisted by the Ukrainian priest Fr. Roman Kavchak and the Korean deacon Yohan Park, performed a Memorial Service at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Seoul for the repose of the victims of the famine – genocide in Ukraine of what is known as the Holodomor.

His Excellency Mr. Dmytro Ponomarenko, the Ambassador of Ukraine in Seoul and several Ukrainians living in Seoul participated in the Memorial Service. Also participating was the Roman Catholic nun Sister Sicelia who, on behalf of a group of Roman Catholics, handed over the sum of 7,500.000 won to Fr. Roman, a fruit of collection in favor of the fighting Ukrainians to be sent to Ukraine. After the end of the Memorial Service, the Metropolitan delivered a short address after which he invited everyone to a reception in the Main Hall of the Metropolis.

On Saturday, November 26, 2022, the Metropolitan of Korea and Exarch of Japan Ambrosios, accompanied by Fr. Roman Kavchak and Fr. Antonios Lim went to Tokyo Japan for the commemoration of the Holodomor victims in Ukraine. The Ambassador of Greece in Tokyo, His Excellency Mr. Demetrios Karamitsos and the Ambassador of Ukraine in Tokyo, His Excellency Mr. Sergiy Korsunsky, as well as the Ukrainian-American Rev. Fr. Paul Koroluk and many Ukrainians and Japanese participated in the Memorial Service.

Before the Memorial Service, Metropolitan Ambrosios addressed the participants with the following greeting:

My beloved Sisters and Brothers,

This year’s anniversary of the great Holodomor genocide in Ukraine is very different from previous years. And this is because for nine months now, Russia’s endless fratricidal war against Ukraine continues. We are already mourning hundreds of dead and injured on both sides. We share the pain of millions of refugees. We suffer for the extensive damage to public and private building infrastructure, the great ecological and environmental catastrophe as a result of the war.

That is why this year, I think, we should not only talk about what happened 90 years ago, but firstly, what is happening right now in Ukraine; secondly, what have each of us done so far for Ukraine, and thirdly, what we shall do from now on to end the war in Ukraine.

Moreover, since this is no time for words and theories, please let me briefly describe to you what the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea did, with the help of Fr. Roman Kavchak and the Ukrainian believers who belong to Her, but also with the cooperation of various Religious Forums in Korea.

Firstly, from the first moment of the start of the war, following the example of His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, we publicly condemned the war in protest in front of the Russian Embassy in Seoul and participated in prayer events and protest rallies with speeches in support of Ukraine and circulating information about the problem of the war in Ukraine.

Secondly, with the cooperation of the Korea Love Sharing Community (KOLOS), we sent a container with humanitarian aid, such as medicines and basic necessities, via Romania to Ukraine, worth more than 500,000 US dollars.

Thirdly, with the cooperation of other Christian churches and religious groups, we collected financial aid of about 200,000 US dollars, which we have already sent through the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea to the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, specifically to the charity organization ELEOS, for the distribution of food, water, medicine and clothes to the civilian population, especially to children.

My Brothers and Sisters, everything we have done and everything we shall continue to do has no political expediency. Our criterion is only the defense of Peace, Truth and Justice. In other words, as Orthodox Christians, we are opposed to the war, because war is opposed to the Gospel which we believe in. We are against war because “there is no greater sin than war”, according to the great Russian-born Orthodox theologian and modern Saint of the Orthodox Church, St. Sophrony of Essex. The war in Ukraine is not “a holy war, but an unholy and satanic war”, as very wisely has been declared by His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, from Whom I have the special blessing and honor to convey to all of you His paternal wishes and blessings.

God bless the people of Ukraine!