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World News

Churches prepare for National Day of Prayer for Ukraine

by Donna Birrell

Churches across England and beyond are preparing for a special Day of Prayer tomorrow, Sunday, following the invasion of Ukraine. 

It follows a call from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell to set aside this Sunday as a day of prayer.  
 
The Church of England has made prayer resources available online. 

On Thursday, both Archbishops issued a pastoral letter to the clergy and people of the Church of England, calling on them to pray for peace in Ukraine.  

They wrote: “This attack is an act of evil, imperilling as it does the relative peace and security that Europe has enjoyed for so long.

“The attack by one nation on a free, democratic country has rightly provoked outrage, sanctions, and condemnation.  

“We lament with the people of Ukraine, and we pray for the innocent, the frightened and those who have lost loved ones, homes, and family.  

“We continue to call for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces as well as wide-ranging efforts to ensure peace, stability and security.” 

The Church of England’s Bishop in Europe, Robert Innes, has also recorded a message urging people to pray.

In a video he recorded in Brussels, Bishop Robert spoke of the Church of England congregation of Christ Church, Kyiv, Ukraine.

 “Our little church in Kyiv are right at the centre of this crisis,” he explained. 

“Some of them have fled the city by car, others are still there. 

“These are our people, our brothers and sisters, and of course we are very concerned for their wellbeing and safety. 

“In the face of military action and aggression, we feel powerless. What can we do? One thing that we can all do is pray.” 
  
The Church of England is also supporting Pope Francis' call for a Global Day of Prayer and fasting on Ash Wednesday.
 

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