BRAMA, Sep 2, 2005, 10:00 am ET|
UAOC issues strong condemnation of anti-semitism
Bishop Paul Peter Jesep, Chancellor of the Archeparchy, Episcopal Vicar for South America and Synellus of Public Affairs and Government Relations of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of North and South America and the Diaspora strongly condemned the August 28th assault of two Jewish students in Kyiv by a group of young Fascists. On August 31st the Kyiv Post reported that one of the students remained in a coma clinging to life.
"It is intolerable that children of God be attacked. It was vicious, mindless and inexcusable," His Excellency said. "Although President Viktor Yuschenko should be applauded for publicly expressing outrage, the tragedy speaks to a larger issue of how human rights and civil liberties for all Ukrainians are safeguarded. In the past several months other Jewish citizens have been attacked in Kyiv. This is an insult to God."
According to Bishop Paul Peter, "Aggressive prosecution of hate crimes is the obvious response, but there must be a long-term, coordinated strategy by the government and Christian leaders to educate and combat this grotesque evil in Ukraine."
His Excellency added, "Ukrainian Jews are equal members of society contributing to Ukraine's vitality, creativity and rich, beautiful heritage. Nothing should deter the Yuschenko Administration from addressing the underlying causes of anti-Semitism or other hate crimes."
"Any attack on a Jewish citizen is an attack on the entire Ukrainian nation," Bishop Paul Peter said. "If a democratic Ukraine cannot commit itself to aggressively stopping such ugly crimes and show the national maturity to openly and honestly discuss why they happen then liberty and freedom are meaningless words."
"It is especially important," His Excellency underscored, "that all Christian leaders express their disgust with anti-Semitism. It is their moral responsibility to defend all of God's children. Anyone who doesn't offends the Creator by complacency and indifference and should be judged accordingly by God."
* * * * *
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