President Klaus Iohannis used his Easter message on Saturday to Orthodox Christians to remember the suffering of Ukrainians after Russia invaded their country.
More than 5 million people have fled Ukraine in the nearly two months of the war, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency. Overall, more than 10 million Ukrainians have been displaced by the war
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 2,224 civilian deaths and 2,897 injured between Feb. 20 and April 20.
„The Feast of Holy Easter brings us together around the great Mystery of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, whether we are at home or far from those we carry in our souls,” the Romanian president said.
„To all Orthodox believers, Greek Catholics…. who celebrate Holy Easter I send warmest wishes of peace, health and understanding! These days, we carry in our thoughts and hearts our Ukrainian neighbors, whose suffering we are trying to alleviate through hospitality and support, “ he said.
Romania’s Orthodox Church announced that Ukrainian believers could go to the cathedral in the northeastern city of Iasi where the service would be held in church Slavonic, the language used in Ukrainian churches.
The majority of Ukrainians are Orthodox believers like Romanians. Since Russia launched its war in late February, more than 700,000 have fled the fighting and crossed into Romania. Most have gone on to other countries.
The president said that the welcome Romanians extended to Ukrainians “is how we share Christian love … and this solidarity embodies the expression of neighbor’s love. Dear Romanians, may the miracle of the Resurrection strengthen us in faith and receive the Holy Light with hope and love.”
Orthodox and Greek Catholic Christians celebrate Easter on Sunday, one week after Catholics and Protestants.