13.11.2008 | Metropolitan Voldodymyr

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate recognizes Holodomor as genocide


The Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate [UOC MP], the Most Reverend Voldodymyr has issued a statement about Holodomor in which probably for the first time the Holy Synod of the UOC MP publicly names Holodomor genocide.

Statement from the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church regarding the sorrowful date marking the 75th anniversary of Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine

In the twentieth century the Ukrainian people suffered one of the most terrible tragedies of its history – Holodomor. Ukraine which had always provided the entire world with its grain experienced mass famine. Holodomor led to considerable human losses and caused great suffering. There were objective and subjective causes and consequences. The artificial famine of 1932-1933 was planned by the Bolsheviks to accelerate forced collectivization, the liquidation of the “kulaks” as a class and to destroy “enemy elements”.

However there is a factor which unites this social cataclysm and the other repressive deeds of the totalitarian Soviet regime. This was a fundamental revolution in worldview – rejection of the God-Man Christ and Christian morality and the choice of a new faith – in man-god, in the Anti-Christ. Adherents of this faith sought to build paradise on earth, achieve a glorious future for mankind. However a future without God and their light was in truth darkness. Their worldview was based on the principles of eternal darkness for only God is the source of light. Their ideology brought ill instead of blessing, since only God is the Creator of all blessings. Where they try to build paradise without God there can only be hell. Instead of the promised life of paradise, the people entrapped within Soviet ideology experienced hellish torments.

Our country has known many harsh times. Natural disasters, wars, socio-political disturbances and other misfortunes led to various crises among which were “destruction, hunger and the sword” Isaiah 51:19).

However in the 1930s Ukraine for the first time experienced an artificial famine, the mass murder of millions of our citizens, cynical, deliberate and merciless. Only in a God-hating and people-hating environment could such a crime have taken place. On Ukraine’s rich black earth millions of people died in terrible torment. This GENOCIDE was an attempt to destroy the very soul of the people and totally enslave them. It was a weapon of devilish vengeance for their inability to eradicate from the consciousness of our wise people filled with lofty virtue the filial memory of God, love for God, faithfulness and belief in God. This faith could only be destroyed through the physical destruction of those who bore it. Therefore a regime fighting God, having created a spiritual famine, doomed the people to a physical famine as well.

The grain was taken away from people, just as before that they trying to take away the spiritual daily bread.  The fertile fields yielded sufficient grain for conscientious workers. However all the grain harvested through the sweat of the peasants was taken away. They took everything that could have supported life, to the last grain. Those who collected ears of grain in the fields were shot. The agony of the famine was in truth hellish. There wasn’t enough time to bury the death. Many were thrown into common “graves” still alive. It was particularly children who suffered.

The relentless god of the Bolsheviks devoured its innocent victims with satanic callousness. 

Ukraine lost millions of its children. All of them suffered terrible torment and a horrific death. And those who survived would always remember what this “heaven on earth” meant when it was without God.

Seventy five years have passed since that time. Time heals mental scars yet the wound in Ukraine’s heart cannot be healed. It will always be an unrelenting pain reminding us of a time when the Devil reigned over Ukraine and over other peoples of the former Soviet community.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church in deep sorrow remembers in its prayers the victims of Holodomor and other repressions of Soviet totalitarianism. There were tens of millions of victims, executed, tortured in prisoners, suffering different mental and physical torment and those who perished from the torments of starvation. Such a number of victims had never been seen even during wars. Indeed the regime waged a bloody war against its own people.

The Church totally condemns the factors which led to this tragedy. There can be no excuse and history itself has passed judgment. No repressions could save the political state system which chose as its base sin and battle against God, disregard for the fundamental moral principles of humanity – faith, hope and love. “Woe to them who scheme iniquity” (Micah 2:1).  “Their end is destruction” (Phillippians 3:19)

The Church warns against the profoundly flawed and anti-human ideology which made such a tragedy possible and calls to repentance all those who have yet to understand and reject battle against God in all its forms.

The Church calls for a rejection of extremism, intolerance, vengeance, hatred of ones brother, division into ours and others.  For God there are no others. The time has finally come for the spiritual uniting of the people of Ukraine, a return to the age-old spiritual values. History has clearly show what the rejection of Christian values leads to. Only holy faith, firm hope and all-conquering love will help to build a worthy future and protect us from the mistakes of the past.

The Church reviews the truth of eternal life of those who suffered a martyr’s death during Holodomor. As a loving Mother, the holy Ukrainian Church prays for their deliverance among the righteous.

Eternal memory

Their souls shall be reborn blessed and their memory shall endure from age to age.

In the name of the Holy Synod

Volodymyr, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine

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