A month after the start of the war.. President Zelensky asks people to take to the streets in support of Ukraine; Mariupol council says 15,000 deported to Russia; NATO approves force increase for Eastern Europe; Biden says NATO has never been so united; the UK sends 6,000 more missiles to Ukraine; Russian ship destroyed and two others damaged in the port of Berdyansk
52 orphans rescued from Ukraine in Jewish-led mercy mission
Sally Becker, the Angel of Mostar, accompanied a rescue mission taking 52 orphans from Dnipro in southern Ukraine, via Poland to Scotland. The Jewish Chronicle tells the fascinating story of how Sally, who also rescued children from the Bosnian war, traveled across Ukraine to retrieve them. A team including Israeli charity Magen David Adom, Justice Robert Rinder, SNP MP Ian Blackford, former MP Richard Harrington and Virgin Atlantic fought through bureaucratic red tape in the rescue effort. The children are being cared for by the ‘Dnipro kids’ charity set up by Scottish football fans, after Hibernian FC played Dnipropetrovsk in the UEFA Cup, and they arrived in Scotland this week.
Ukrainian refugees could be accommodated at Bishopthorpe Palace
Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, who lives at Bishopthorpe Palace near York, is considering hosting Ukrainian refugees. The Yorkshire Post quotes him as saying: “At this moment, like many people, I am thinking of the large number of Ukrainian refugees who are our neighbours. Where I live in Bishopthorpe, we are exploring how we can provide accommodation and support for those in need through the government program being developed. I know that I am not alone in this case. Clergy and members of the Church of England are encouraged to consider offering hospitality and enrolling in the government’s Homes For Ukraine program.
Methodists call for support for refugee homes
The Methodist Church encourages its members to join the Ukrainian Refugee Resettlement Scheme in the UK. He asks people to promote the government’s Homes for Ukraine program to churches and communities. He hopes to keep a record of people who have signed up as hosts to offer their support. There are about 300 Methodists in Ukraine and those helping them in neighboring countries will contact the church if refugees ask to stay with another Methodist.
Global Catholic gesture to pray for peace in Ukraine
The Pope has invited all Catholic bishops around the world to come together today for a worldwide prayer of solidarity for Ukraine – a “solemn act of consecration of humanity, and of Russia and Ukraine in particular, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”. In his letter of invitation, he lamented the immense suffering that war inflicts, threatening world peace. The act will take place tonight (March 25) at 6:30 p.m. Rome time in St. Peter’s Basilica. The bishops of England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland will join.
Catholic charities warn of human trafficking at Ukraine’s borders
Catholic aid groups have warned of the risk of human trafficking as refugees escape from Ukraine. Caritas Ukraine supports women and children crossing the border into neighboring countries such as Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, in an attempt to prevent human trafficking. Sister Imelda Poole, president of a network of religious women fighting human trafficking, told Vatican Radio that transnational criminal gangs were working in vans along these roads to pick up women and girls. Leaflets are distributed warning against random offers of help at the border and people notify the police when they notice suspicious behavior.
Muslim Hands helps on the front line in Poland
Muslim Hands, based in Nottingham, has launched an emergency appeal for Ukrainian refugees and has charity workers on the frontlines in Poland, distributing food, water and essential supplies. It says the vast majority are women and children “with nothing but a few belongings on their backs” and are in dire need of help.
Muslims in Ukraine
There are approximately 400,000 Muslims in Ukraine, most living in Crimea. Euromaiden News reports that Muslim leaders in Ukraine are urging worshipers to resist and take no part in the aggression against the country. More about Crimean Tartar Muslims in our fact sheet here
Truro choristers sing for Ukraine
Truro Cathedral Choir records Ave Maria to raise funds for UNICEF’s ‘Protect Children in Ukraine’ emergency appeal. The choir of 34 children and 12 adults will release the recording on YouTube on Mother’s Sunday this weekend and sing in the cathedral that day. Coincidentally, a Ukrainian mother and son, who found refuge in Cornwall, visited Truro Cathedral as the choir was rehearsing and said, “God has led us here tonight. Last year the choir raised £8,000 with a song about the G7 and climate change. This time their target is £3,000.
Black church leader backs calls for Jamaican independence
Leading black theologian and church leader Dr Joe Aldred said it was an aberration for Britain to rule Jamaica and backed calls for the country’s independence. The campaign for independence was at the heart of the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who the Jamaican Prime Minister told to his face that his ambition was to be an independent, fully developed and prosperous country. Dr Aldred’s family is from Jamaica and he told Premier Christian News: “The people most responsible for the enslavement of Africans – my ancestors – were the British, and before the British, the Spaniards. Today, 500 years later, it is still the same empirical force – the power that took us there, ruled us, enslaved us, dehumanized us. For him, reconfigured in one way or another, to continue to be at the head of an independent state, like Jamaica, is for me an aberration.
Chelsea Football Club bidders pushed back after Islamophobia complaint
The American Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team and is bidding to buy Chelsea Football Club, has been forced to issue a statement denying it has any issues with Muslims. This follows the emergence of emails where Muslims were portrayed as the enemy. In a report tweeted by the AP sports reporter, they say racism and Islamophobia have no place in society and that respect for diversity and inclusion are at the heart of their values. There are several Muslim players in the Chelsea squad.
Two Brothers Spreading the Gospel in American Baseball Stadiums
Two Franciscan friars, Casey Cole and “Tito” Serrano, plan to visit all 30 major league ballparks in America, “bringing people home” to church. They came up with the program nine years ago, but this year it’s finally happening. They plan to celebrate masses and preach the gospel: “Ever since we were children, we dreamed of traveling the country, seeing a baseball game in every stadium. Being on the road, enjoying the American pastime, is an adventure we had to go on”