2 May 2012, 11:45
AUCCRO, inter-confessional councils
Code for Blog
The official program of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO) in USA began with a visit of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, reported the Institute for Religious Studies (IRF).
After looking round the expositions, the heads of Ukrainian denominations together with the museum experts and scholars of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies held a meeting to discuss questions of the study of historic facts and events of the time of WWII in Ukraine.
A research worker of the Center, Martin Dean presented studies on camps and ghettos in the Nazi-occupied Ukraine. A researcher, Oleksandr Marichenko familiarized the participants with the results of his research regarding the Soviet camps for prisoners of war in Ukraine.
The Director of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Paul Shapiro gave striking examples of courageous and sacrificial acts of people of various nationalities and confessions who saved hundreds of people during the war.
In his address, Patriarch Filaret of the Kyivan Patriarchate told the audience about his deep impressions of the expositions of the museum. According to him, the atrocities of the Holocaust can hardly be repeated in future but evil can find other ways of manifestation if people remain indifferent to its conception in the very beginning.
The Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) noted “We represent millions of people who, in the worst moments of their life, like all people, could incline one to hatred and intolerance. But the members of our Ukrainian delegation together here today and, most importantly, in Ukraine, insist that we, their leaders, reject such attitude. We proclaim together with the survivors of the Holocaust: “Never again.” And we pray that Ukraine and all countries should be able to get rid of anti-Semitism once and for all.”
Senior Bishop of the Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith of Ukraine, Mykhailo Panochko reported that he found many testimonies of rescue of Jews by tens of Evangelical Christians of Ukraine some of whom it cost their lives. He proposed to study the gathered testimonies and add them to other ones kept in the museum. He also called the modern Jews to reconcile with Ukrainians and honour their sacrificial acts.
On 22-29 April the delegation of AUCCRO visited Canada and USA on the invitation of the Ukrainian-Jewish Meeting Initiative.