Green Room

Photo of the Day: Orthodox priests on the front lines in Ukraine

posted at 2:53 pm on January 23, 2014 by

Amazing, and not just because these brave Orthodox priests stood between two armed, hostile battle lines — but because it also appears to have worked (via Billy Kangas):

ukraine-priests

Yesterday morning, monks from the Kiev-Caves Lavra Fr. Gabriel, Fr. Melchisedek, and Fr. Ephraim stood on Grushevsky Street in Kiev with a cross and icons, between the demonstrators and the Ukrainian special police force “Berkut”, and stopped the conflict. They entered the arena as peace-makers, and not in support of one side or the other.

Although they were invited to join the “people”, the fathers only prayed and sang the Paschal troparion: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life,” wrote the Ramensky deanery of Moscow on its facebook page. The conflict ceased.

As the website Pravoslavie v Ukraine (“Orthodoxy in the Ukraine”) learned, at around 9:00 a.m., clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church came to Grushevsky Street, placed themselves between the warring sides, and began to pray, calling both sides to stop their fighting and repent.

The monks have no intention of leaving until the situation has completely stabilized.

Lo and behold, saner minds might be prevailing:

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich called for an emergency session of parliament to end political crisis and violent unrest, in a sign he might be ready to soften his hardline stance and strike a compromise.

Yanukovich was due to hold talks on Thursday with opposition leaders including heavyweight boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko, and anti-government demonstrators in the capital agreed to a truce with police until 8 p.m. (1300 ET) pending the outcome.

The parliamentary website said the special session would be held on Tuesday.

I think Yanukovich may be seeing the writing on the wall here. He’s losing control of the narrative and creating martyrs in the streets, and this time he may not be able to stage a political comeback if it gets too far out of hand. We’ll see whether a compromise can be achieved, but the space for the opportunity may have come in part from these priests.

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The monks of the Kievan Cave have a long history of faith and persistence in the face of evil. From OrthoWiki: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Kiev_Caves

chelie on January 23, 2014 at 3:05 PM

“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.”

Truly He has risen.

No Truce With Kings on January 23, 2014 at 3:16 PM

I am very very humbled by the faith of my Orthodox brethren. OK, I’m actually very proud and impressed.

jnials on January 23, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Looks like a lot of rocks have been thrown.

tommer74 on January 23, 2014 at 3:21 PM

I’m curious why the atheists didn’t try this.

el hombre on January 23, 2014 at 3:29 PM

jnials on January 23, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Me, too, brother!

chelie on January 23, 2014 at 4:15 PM

I am Eastern Orthodox and the Holy Fathers are an inspiration. Chistos Anesti. Alithos Anesti.

deimos on January 23, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

txmomof6 on January 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Incredible photography

Murphy9 on January 23, 2014 at 5:59 PM

I am Eastern Orthodox and the Holy Fathers are an inspiration. Chistos Anesti. Alithos Anesti.

deimos on January 23, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Amen!

(I know there are a few Orthodox Christians here at HotAir – me included – though it’s nice to have a reason to see it and say “hello”!)

Katja on January 23, 2014 at 7:04 PM

But I have it on good authority that Christianity is the source of all violence in the world.

philoquin on January 23, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

DamnCat on January 23, 2014 at 8:30 PM

I am Eastern Orthodox and the Holy Fathers are an inspiration. Chistos Anesti. Alithos Anesti.

deimos on January 23, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I’m not Orthodox, but this is a stunning image and as Christian as anything I’m going to see this year.

Abelard on January 24, 2014 at 9:46 AM

It doesn’t look like they’re achieving their diversity targets…

Galtian on January 24, 2014 at 9:56 AM