News / Europe

Chicago's Ukrainian Community Prays for Peace in Ukraine

Chicago's Ukrainian Community Prays for Peace in Ukrainei
X
Kane Farabaugh
March 06, 2014 2:23 PM
As tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine in the wake of a military incursion on the Crimean peninsula, VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports that Chicago's large Ukrainian American community is observing the Christian season of Lent, and turning to their faith to ease anxieties about their home country.
Chicago's Ukrainian Community Prays for Peace in Ukraine
Kane Farabaugh
As Chicago's large Ukrainian American community begins to observe the Christian season of Lent, many are turning to their faith to overcome the anxiety of what Russia's next move could mean for the independence of their home country.

At the Ukrainian National Museum on Chicago's West Side, the pictures and artifacts on display bring the turmoil in Ukraine closer to home.
 
 "My brother went there first in December. He felt a deep connection with the people on the Maidan, the Maidan being the main square of Kyiv," explained retiree Oleh Sajewych.

His brother is George Sajewych, a former reporter for the Voice of America. On a second visit to Kyiv in February, he was attacked during the deadly crackdown on protests.
 
The first hint to Oleh that his brother survived was video footage and an interview with George in the hospital that was broadcast around the world.
 
"Just talked to my brother today. He's sore. He just got out of the hospital on Monday. His arm was operated on," Oleh Sajewych said.
 
While the news about his brother is a positive development, the Russian incursion into Crimea in the wake of the protests has created new concerns for the Sajewych family.
 
"My wife's cousin's husband is in a naval base in Odessa, and at this time he is in harm's way, because he is surrounded by Russian soldiers - this is Putin's soldiers, let's not play games, this is Putin's army. Ultimatums have been issued, and if there is fighting, he's going to be slaughtered," said Oleh Sajewych.
 
Almost anywhere you go in Chicago's Ukrainian Village, there are blue and yellow flags flying in a show of solidarity with the home country. This is a community founded on faith, displayed by the iconic onion-shaped domes that dot the skyline.
 
A blue and gold flag also flies below the domes of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, though not as high as others.
 
 "It's meaning that we are in sorrow, that we are praying for those hundred people who lost their lives for the freedom and salvation of Ukraine," explained Reverend Bohdan Nalysnyk, director of St. Nicholas. " It will be there for 40 days, out of tradition."
 
The unrest in Ukraine comes during the Christian holy period of Lent, a time of daily church services. As Nalysnyk leads his congregation in prayer and reflection, he admits his thoughts are sometimes with his family still living in western Ukraine.
 
They are thoughts shared by most members of this immigrant community that number in the tens of thousands. Many are only one or two generations removed from the country they left.
 
"The Ukrainians here support whatever efforts the Ukrainians in Ukraine are doing to keep that country free," St. Nicholas business manager Phyllis Muryn Zaparaniuk said, adding that backing from Chicago's Ukrainian community has come through donations of money, clothes for the protesters and medical supplies, though she wishes she could do more.

"There are times I wish I was there, but I know there's nothing I can do."
 
Zaparaniuk said that in times of helplessness, the community turns to Father Nalysnyk for guidance and wisdom.
 
Nalysnyk believes Ukraine's resurrection will come once Russian troops leave, and the Ukrainian people get the opportunity to vote on the future of their government.

"To give hope that everything will be OK. Like we say in church, after Friday comes Sunday, the resurrection," he said.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid