Not by bread alone not even in times of crisis: 23,000 Child's Bibles for Ukraine
Project Code: 438-08-89
Politically and economically, Ukraine is facing a profound crisis. First there were the clashes between the pro-reform movement, which sought closer union with Europe, and their opponents. This was followed by the military conflict with the pro-Russian separatists, which has further paralyzed the country. The already difficult situation of the economy has grown still worse.
In such a situation, a particularly important role falls to the Christian Churches. Through their pastoral, social and charitable initiatives and their promotion of an atmosphere of harmony and reconciliation between the different faiths, they can strengthen society at a critical time. Approximately 10% of the 46 million inhabitants of Ukraine are Eastern-rite Catholics (Greek Catholics) while some 5% are Latin-rite Catholics.
“There is a great deal we can do. The spiritual hunger is immense, and after decades of oppression we can at last work freely,” says Latin-rite Bishop Stanislav Szyrokoradiuk of the diocese of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia. Many adults have since been baptized, while intellectuals have discovered the Church anew. The Church is seeking new ways of teaching Christian ethics in the schools.
The Catholic laity are encountering the new challenges and tasks before them “with faith and a great deal of initiative,” the 59-year-old bishop assures us. The means may indeed be limited, but people are making the best of it, he says. “The Church is poor, the parishes are poor. The priests have to live on whatever they are given.” In Ukraine the faithful traditionally always bring something with them to the Liturgy, for the priests. And many continue to show such solidarity, including those abroad.
ACN is supporting a number of pastoral projects, both for the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and for the Latin Catholic Church in Ukraine, such as sending Child‘s Bibles. Sister Luiza Ciupa, who has been involved in the teaching of the faith for 20 years now, explains why the Child‘s Bibles are so important: “The interest in the religion of our forefathers is considerable, especially among young adults.” In the last 7 to 8 years, the teaching of the faith, with the help of the Holy Scriptures has increased markedly, especially among adults, she tells us. This is the generation that was denied religious instruction under the old regime, or taught it only marginally in the early years of the great political changes.
“We want to be able to give the children a Bible, so that they can profit from God‘s Word. In this way it will also find its way into the families.” No fewer than 856,000 Child‘s Bibles in Ukrainian have already been distributed among the parishes. Now the stocks are exhausted once more and the Latin-rite bishops' conference of Ukraine has asked ACN to send extra copies, for its seven dioceses. We were only too happy to agree to print a further 23,000 copies for $10,400, and we are counting on your help to cover the cost.
Will you give to provide Child’s Bibles to young Catholics in Ukraine?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.