Faith in Ukraine: Brahma Kumaris join peace mission

Faith in Ukraine: Brahma Kumaris join peace mission

“To listen and to learn. To let people know that they are not alone and that those who are suffering are in our thoughts, and that we will take any practical actions we can for peace.” – This is how Sister Maureen Goodman, Programme Director of Brahma Kumaris UK, described the high-level delegation of religious leaders who paid a historic visit to refugee camps and the city of Chernivtsi in conflict-torn Ukraine.

The leaders, made up of representatives of all major world faiths, visited various sites in the Chernivtsi region to show friendship, offer comfort, and share experiences of maintaining spiritual well-being under distressing circumstances.

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As part of the visit last week, a public event was held in the city’s main theatre where they addressed refugees and other citizens impacted by war. Their words were accompanied by live musical interludes from faith institutions outside the Ukraine, testimonies from refugees, and interactions with audience members. It marked the first public event permitted at the theatre since the war with Russia began.

“The hope of all of us is for peace. Peace in Ukraine, in the whole region and in the world. As religious communities, we are supporting refugees and those who come to us in distress. We offer our prayers, meditations and thoughts for peace. More than hope, we know that peace will come,” said Sister Maureen.

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“We welcome all those affected by war. We know that every human being is invaluable in God’s eyes. We offer sanctuary in our religious places and respect the dignity of all,” she said.

The messages of the event are informed by a Glocalities report, in which nearly 25,000 people were interviewed across the European Union (EU), Russia and Ukraine on their values in 2020.

Martijn Lampert, the Research Director of Glocalities, said: “We have revealed by empirical means that caring, friendship and freedom were consistently among the top values of responders.”

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The Faith in Ukraine mission has been framed by this research and aims to demonstrate by example that even in times of war and division it is important to keep appealing to the highest values of humanity that unite us.

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