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The United Church of Christ is issuing an appeal for the people of Ukraine and will be working with global partners to assist vulnerable communities within that country.
The appeal joins an earlier call to prayer issued by the UCC’s executive officers and an invitation from Global Ministries to pray with the worldwide interfaith community. The national ministries are also encouraging people to call on the Biden administration to offer Ukrainians more humanitarian assistance, both in the U.S. and abroad.
“Members of the United Church of Christ are joining the global community to respond to the events unfolding in Ukraine,” said the Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, associate general minister, Wider Church Ministries and Global Operations. ”We are praying earnestly for peace and for the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the war. And, we are adding our resources to ensure that all can have access to safety and shelter as the fighting escalates.”
The UCC, through Global H.O.P.E. and Global Ministries, will be collaborating with ACT Alliance and the Reformed Church of Hungary (RCH) to bring aid to Ukraine. RCH is responding to the situation in the war-torn country through its agency, Hungarian Reformed Church Aid. That group has been offering humanitarian assistance since Russian troops first attacked Ukraine on Feb. 24. It’s working with elderly and other vulnerable communities inside the country who have not been able to leave, including immigrants and migrant populations who are experiencing difficulties crossing into other European countries. HRCA is also working with refugees who are leaving the country.
“We are particularly grateful the Reformed Church of Hungary is prioritizing care of vulnerable populations who are unable to leave Ukraine for multiple reasons,” Thompson said. “The elderly and other internally displaced persons have emerging needs requiring attention.”
Gifts to the UCC Ukraine Emergency Appeal will provide shelter, food and other care to war refugees and internally displaced people. It also will help refugees and asylum seekers from African, Middle Eastern and other countries who had sought refuge in Ukraine and now are twice displaced, as well as other citizens of more than 125 countries living in Ukraine. Donate here.
“We are also appealing to the United States government by way of an action alert,” Thompson added. “We hope the members of the UCC will sign, adding our voices to those who are advocating for all persons who are displaced.”
The UCC’s advocacy office in Washington, D.C., is encouraging people through this action alert to urge the Biden administration to bolster support for Ukrainians by:
- Providing significant humanitarian assistance, both in terms of financial support and operational personnel.
- Rebuilding a robust, well-resourced refugee program that can effectively process refugees from a variety of regions across the globe, including Ukraine.
- Designating Ukraine for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to protect Ukrainians already in the U.S.
- Granting Special Student Relief (SSR) to allow eligible students from Ukraine to remain in the U.S.
“We continue today, praying for Ukraine, for peace and for the many displaced people now on the move,” Thompson said. “We give thanks for the host countries providing refuge and for the humanitarian aid being made available.”