90th Anniversary of HOLODOMOR: The Truth Must Not Be Silenced

“The path of the righteous is as the dawning light that shines brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18)

(UOC-USA) The 90th Anniversary of the Ukrainian HOLODOMOR – Genocide by Starvation – is before us and our souls resound with a powerful call for justice and truth that will not be silenced.

Each and single day of 2022-2023 must be a day of remembrance and devotion for our people, a spiritual journey to the memorials of our martyrs in Ukraine, the United States of America (especially in Washington, DC and at the Spiritual Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA in South Bound Brook, NJ) and throughout the world, before which we humbly kneel in prayer with offerings of incense for the souls of our innocent victims, millions of whom lie in unmarked graves, having suffered horrible death by starvation. Indeed, “the path of the righteous is as the dawning light that shines brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.”

In 1932-1933, and for years before and after, Soviet Russian Government committed Genocide against the Ukrainian people. In Eastern and Central Ukraine up to 10 million sons and daughters of our nation were subjected to slaughter, famine and disease, left to die on the streets of cities, towns and villages, deported and forced to march to their deaths. The way of life and honest accomplishments and creativity along with thousands of monasteries and churches were desecrated and swiftly destroyed. National institutions and schools were razed and ruined. Our spiritual and cultural treasures were uprooted and obliterated. 

Ninety years ago – when fragments of the Ukrainian nation, having lost generations of citizens, were scattered throughout the world, and Ukraine, under Soviet oppression, was waging a life-and-death struggle for survival – it was difficult to believe in a future for Ukrainian people. Nevertheless, a new dawn came. By the Grace of God, our people rose from death. The people, guided by their ancient history and spiritual treasury and traditions, rose like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes, regenerated their country out of the ruins and built a “homeland of light and hope,” of science, education and culture, as a true European nation. Ukrainians throughout the world built homes churches and community centers, flourishing in countries near and far, carrying on their traditions and spiritual life. Wherever the children of our nation lived, they achieved success, earned respect and trust, gaining recognition for their conscientious work and contributions to all aspects of human life. This is the history of our people throughout centuries – one of repeated adversity and resurrection.

Today, besieged by yet another genocide, the citizens of our ancestral homeland Ukraine once again defend themselves against the evil regime of death in the Russian Federation. Thus, the memory of the genocidal HOLODOMOR against the Ukrainian people becomes more profound as Russia again murders men, women and children, steals grain, blocks Ukrainian ports and destroys critical infrastructure resulting in starvation, suffering and horror for not only Ukraine but nations throughout the world who depend solely on receiving Ukrainian wheat to feed their citizens – because Ukraine grows and exports a 25% of the world’s annual wheat needs and supply.

Glory to you, O Lord, “Like a shield you protect us with your good favor.” (Psalms 5:12). By placing our hope in You, O Lord, our people were enlightened and strengthened. Your light kindled the ingenuity of our spirit. Your Might propelled us to our victories. We created, even though others attempt to destroy our creations. We continued to live, even though others want us dead. You, O Lord, willed that our people – condemned to death by a genocidal plan – should live on.

As it was 90 years ago, so it is today – the blood of our innocent martyrs and the suffering of our people cry out for justice. Our destroyed churches, community centers and homes, the violation of our national rights and the usurpation and distortion of our history all cry out for justice. Having survived genocidal HOLODOMOR, we continue to believe that all the nations of the world – beginning with the United Nations – will finally join those righteous nations that have declared the HOLODOMOR to be an act of genocide, rather than a “national tragedy” as proclaimed by the United Nations in 2003.  What further proof is needed beyond the devastation in Ukraine today?

In memory of millions of martyrs from HOLODOMOR, we express our gratitude to those nations, organizations and individuals who have had the courage and conviction to recognize and condemn the HOLODOMOR as genocide. The world sat by in silence as the HOLODOMOR of 1932-33 ravaged Ukraine. Today, the world stands up for Ukraine with incredible unity and conviction. We express gratitude to those nations and individuals that have accepted the citizens of Ukraine as brothers and sisters during the present genocide, providing the necessities of life in many, many ways. These examples of justice shall be luminous pages in the history of mankind. They will be remembered and appreciated unto eternity.

O, God-Loving people of Ukraine, graced from on high – a nation tortured – a nation resurrected – live peacefully and with an unwavering heart, keep your faith and hope alive. The Lord’s encouragement and message are addressed to you: “Though you are not mighty, you were faithful to my word, and you did not betray my name… Hold fast what you have so that no one will take away your crown of victory.” (Revelations 3:8-11). Thus, let us stay on course before God, righteous and true, on the steadfast path of faith, which like the morning light dispels the darkness and makes the horizons of hope visible. Our way is with God; and the life of faith is our victory. Let us transform the remembrance of our HOLODOMOR victims into strength in our spiritual and national life.  Before God and all mankind, may their memory illuminate our path to righteousness and guide our way toward the realization of our sacred aspirations and justice for the world. 

From our Church’s cherished spiritual center in South Bound Brook, NJ, the sight of the first Memorial constructed in the world (1965) for the HOLODOMOR victims – ST. ANDREW MEMORIAL CHURCH – let us pray fervently to God for peace, safety and the welfare of our beloved Ukraine and her people – our people. May Love, Justice and Truth reign over all humanity, and may the ways of the righteous radiate, guide and spread the Light of Christ until the dawn of a new day brings peace and happiness to all the world.

ANTONY, Metropolitan

JEREMIAH, Archbishop

DANIEL, Archbishop

Message By His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew On the 85th Anniversary of the Holodomor


(UOCUSA) Beloved children in the Lord: May God’s grace and peace be with you.

As every year, we are communicating with all of you with a heavy heart from the historic and martyric Mother Church of Constantinople while prayerfully commemorating the Holodomor of the Ukrainian People, the tragic and inhumane events of the years 1932-1933, when countless human beings lost their lives through deliberate and brutal famine.  This tragedy inscribes itself among other atrocities against humanity and God’s creation committed over the twentieth century, the most violent in history thus far.

As we pray for the repose of the victims’ souls and for the healing of this painful wound in the conscience of your blessed Nation, we remind all people of goodwill that the Church does not tolerate injustice or any type of force that undermines social cohesion.  Rather, it underscores the social teaching of the Christian Gospel and promotes diakonia and philanthropy. Orthodoxy’s responsibility is to serve as a positive challenge for contemporary humankind, a God-inspired perspective of life and an expression of authentic freedom.

When remembering the past and learning from its tragedies, we ought to move ahead into the future with compassion and forgiveness.  For, it is in the Church, the mystical Body of Christ, that we are spared from sorrow and suffering, while at the same time we find strength to forgive and love all people.  Our Ecumenical Patriarchate is strong because it has a sacrificial love and acts through humility and the Cross.  His story is filled with martyrdom and sacrifice for the world, for all peoples and for all nations.  The Church of Constantinople, as the Mother Church, is the incarnation of the free love of Christ, who does not crucify but is crucified, who sacrifices His soul for His friends – for all men.

For this reason, it is inconceivable that the Ecumenical Throne – which according to the Holy Canons is responsible for the unity and stability of Orthodoxy – would remain indifferent when an Orthodox people, such as the Ukrainian people, suffer and seek a solution to the ecclesiastical problems that have tormented them for centuries.  Therefore, we intervene by obligation – always on the basis of authentically ecclesiastical, truly universal and purely supra – national criteria – for the truth and tradition of the Church, the defense of canonical order and the identity of Orthodoxy, all for the purpose of building up the body of Christ, not for ourselves and not for demonstrating worldly strength and power.  By remaining indifferent, we would be left with no excuse before God and history.

This great responsibility of the Mother Church, the Holy and Great Church of Christ, certainly has no limits.  That is why, just as we have granted autocephaly to all local Churches, the Holy and Sacred Synod has similarly decided to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, which is tormented in many ways, so that she, too, may join the plentitude of Orthodoxy in unity and internal peace.  Only the First Throne of Orthodoxy, the Church of Constantinople, holds this high responsibility according to the Holy and Sacred Canons.

May God grant rest to the souls of all the victims of the Holodomor, and may He grant all of you, dear children, patience in trials, as well as love and forgiveness for one another.  May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  Amen.

At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the 24thof November, 2018

The fervent supplicant befoe God,


Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch

On the 84th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Holodomor

Source (UOC):

It is with a heavy heart that we call to recollection one of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century, namely, the tragic events in Ukraine during the years 1932-1933. Today, our Ecumenical Patriarchate joins Ukrainians across the globe in prayerful commemoration on the 84th anniversary of the Holodomor. Surrounded by the members of our local Ukrainian Orthodox Community and representatives of various nations serving in our City, we will preside over the celebration of the Divine Liturgy as well as personally offer a memorial service for the millions of people who inhumanely lost their lives during the orchestrated man-imposed famine.

Our Mother Church of Constantinople—which transformed centuries ago the river waters of the Dnieper into the sanctified living waters of rejuvenation and life eternal—was forever bonded spiritually to the Christ-loving nation of Ukraine, continuing to actively share in its pride and its joys, but also in its sorrows, always demonstrating Pauline ecclesiology: “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”

In the spirit of sharing intimately in the life of Ukraine, the Holy and Great Church of Christ stands in prayerful silence and solidarity with the victims of the Holodomor, contemplating the magnitude of death and destruction carried out by the oppressor.

“You will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” And it is the truth of the Lord that liberates. For, the world witnessed in Ukraine the destruction and death of millions of people due to falsehood and a godless ideology, but it continues to recognize the rejuvenation, baptism, and eternal life offered centuries ago by our holy predecessors, the saintly and wise Patriarchs of Constantinople. The “water road” of the Dnieper River system was transformed into a bridge leading to heaven.

While prayerfully commemorating the atrocity of famine, we would also like to make a prayerful appeal to all people of goodwill for the cessation of the war, aggression and ongoing violence in Ukraine, as well as to underscore the importance of respecting human rights and dignity, most especially of the prisoners of war, for whose safety and release we Orthodox pray for at every divine service. The aggressions and crimes witnessed in the early 20th century should not be repeated once again; rather, we should strive to be mechanisms of reconciliation and rapprochement, especially having fresh in our minds the disastrous results of the conflict and hostility 84 years ago. Let us all, each from our own standpoint, personally and collectively, work to de-escalate tension and cultivate dialogue and mutual understanding, so that the dark chapters of the early 20th century will never reappear before us.

Eternal be the memories of the victims of this travesty. And may peace and prosperity be granted unto Ukraine.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, “On the 84th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Holodomor,” Phanar, November 25, 2017.

Remembering the Victims of Genocidal Famine in Ukraine of 1932-1933

Source (UOC): The 2017 Annual National Holodomor Commemoration took place on the eve of the 85th anniversary of this human tragedy at St. Patrick Cathedral, New York City on 18 November 2017 with 2,000 people participating. The day began in Ukrainian Village on the lower southeast Manhattan as about 1500 people stepped off in an awareness march from 7thStreet and Third Avenue and walked about 3.5 miles to 51st Street and Fifth Avenue to St. Patrick Cathedral.

The procession up Third Avenue was 2-3 blocks long and there were an abundance of placards describing what the march was all about and young Ukrainian students walking along the sidewalks passing out pamphlets explaining to those who observed the march that the Holodomor Ukas an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation and her people. It was perpetrated by Josef Stalin and his henchmen in the fall of 1932 and the spring of 1933 and murdered seven to ten million innocent people – solely because Stalin though he was losing his grip on Ukraine and he needed to bring the nation back into line with the Soviet mindset. This march takes place on every fifth anniversary of the Holodomor and was led this year by His Eminence Metropolitan Antony of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church and His Grace Bishop Paul of the Stamford Eparchy of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

The climax of the march was the Memorial Service conducted in St. Patrick Cathedral with the participation of the above mentioned hierarchs together with Metropolitan Stephan and retired Bishop Losten of the Ukrainian Catholic Church as well as His Eminence Archbishop Daniel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and clergy from both churches.

Prior to the beginning of the Memorial service, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony addressed several thousand people in attendance stating:

At present, when our native homeland of Ukraine is enduring perhaps its greatest trials since achieving independence, we Ukrainians in the Diaspora and in Ukraine remember the Holodomor of 1932-33, this most sorrowful and tragic event in our Ukrainian history. Together, we prayerfully honor the memory of millions of innocent people who were martyred by hunger in Ukraine.

Today, much scholarly research have been conducted, and many scientific studies have been completed. They confirm unequivocally the fact that the Famine in Ukraine in 1932-33 was deliberately created by a totalitarian regime whose aim was to deliberately destroy the Ukrainian nation. Only a godless and atheistic government would contemplate the extermination by famine of the Ukrainian people – a time-honored and traditionally agricultural people, who also have been bearers of deep spirituality, culture and traditions. The communist regime attempted to mercilessly decimate the entire population by destroying it without concern for children, the young or the elderly. By creating an artificial famine and, thereby, physically destroying the Ukrainian people, the Bolshevik regime aimed to destroy and eradicate the reviled Ukrainian language, culture and the religious identity of the people. Therefore, the communist government was undoubtedly a godless regime which had built a paradise on earth without God. The Holodomor demonstrated that such an authority, in which there is no room for God, will only shed a sea of blood and build a living hell for millions.

The Holodomor is a wound that will always be a painful scar on the body of our nation. The magnitude of this tragedy is immense. We shall reap its “fruit” for centuries to come. For decades, this totalitarian system has been doing everything in its power to cover up and to erase this tragedy from the cultural memory and history of the Ukrainian nation. Without exaggeration, this famine is a tragedy not only for the Ukrainian people, but for all of humanity.

Today, we need to continue to expend great efforts to convey the truth and the real history of this, our national tragedy, to the furthest corners of the world where this truth may not yet have reached, or where it may have been heard in a distorted form. It is no secret that the forces of evil continue, even now, to try to hide, silence or distort the historical truth about the horrors of the Holodomor in Ukraine in the 20th century.

It is within our power and it is our duty to preserve the memory of the death of the millions of our brothers and sisters. Let this sorrowful day when we remember the terrible tragedy of the past century always be one of personal prayer and remembrance for all of the victims of the Holodomor. On this day of remembrance of the victims of the Holodomor, let us each light a candle for our countrymen who were exterminated. With sincere prayers to the Lord, let us entreat Him to give them rest in His Kingdom of Heaven and forgive them their sins. May He give us His blessing to preserve and support our independent Ukraine which the God-loving Ukrainian people currently are defending and protecting at great cost.

The Dumka Ukrainian Choir sang the responses for the memorial service as it has for many years. Immediately preceding the Memorial Service, survivors of the Holodomor – just two of them, from Holy Trinity Cathedral on Broome Street in NYC – Alexander and Nadia Savaryn, approached a table before the altar to place candles and Ukrainian children followed with blades of wheat, candles, wreaths and flowers to place at the table – all in memory of the victims of the Holodomor.

Following the requiem service, representatives from the United States government were offered an opportunity to deliver remarks. Among the speakers was Mrs. Tamara Gallo Olexy, previous president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, which along with the National Holodomor Committee and the Churches organizes the event each year. She introduced Senator Charles Shumer who represents the state of New York in the US Senate. The Senator is a regular participant in this commemoration for at least the last ten years and always makes an emotional and stirring condemnation of the genocide and those responsible for it, but calls not only Ukrainians but people of all ethnic backgrounds to join in remembering the victims and aiding in stopping the acts of genocide that still occur in other countries around the world today.

Ambassador of Ukraine to the USA, His Excellency Valeriy Chaly and Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko spoke about the horror of the genocidal Holodomor and made references to the historic event of opening and dedications of the National US National Holodomor Memorial in Washington, DC which took place on November 7, 2015.

Bishop Paul of Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford, CT closed the commemoration expressing gratitude to all the hierarchs and clergy, to the speakers, and to all present in the Cathedral and finally to His Excellency Cardinal Dolan who, along with his predecessors for nearly two decades invited the Ukrainian-American community to conduct the commemoration in the Cathedral.

The Dumka Choir, under the direction of maestro Vasyl Hrechynsky chanted solemn responses to a Memorial Panakhyda for the Famine victims. The Memorial event concluded with the singing of “Bozhe Velykyj”.