Orthodox Christianity is deeply embedded into Ukrainian national life, and both parties expect religious leaders to play a critical role in political, even military matters.
However, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) remains partially dependent on Moscow Patriarch Kirill as head of Russia’s Orthodox Church; nevertheless it has shown its independence by not using his name in parish services and blessing its own sacramental oil instead of depending on supplies from Moscow.
The HOLY ANGELS are spiritual beings who serve God and are part of His creation. In Scripture they are often referred to as’spirits’ (Psalm 103:6) or ‘flames of fire’ (Psalm 104:6 and Psalm 148:3) – sometimes even being described as the angels of God in Genesis 6:2; Job 1:6, 2:1; Isaiah 41:10 and Revelation 4:13, 17.
The Church teaches that each individual has his/her own guardian angel and that humans possess souls (pneumatos) imbued with spiritual life that extends beyond our physical bodies. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas – an influential theologian from medieval Europe – these spiritual lives are formed within us all by grace of the Holy Spirit; our task as worshipers is to accept this gift by prayerfully engaging God and worshipping him regularly.
“Guardians” of each person are angelic beings assigned to protect one or more specific individuals against evil, sin and death. These guardians serve as spiritual stewards to their individuals in helping guide them towards living a Christian lifestyle filled with obedience, service and self-sacrificial love toward both God and others.
Spirits, with intelligence and willpower, serve to carry out God’s will and glorify Him. Although invisible, they don’t possess bodily needs or desires or passions; nor the procreation drive seen in humans (Mark 12:25; Luke 20:36).
Cherubim and Seraphim angels provide another layer of protection from evil; these particular angels were assigned to God’s altar as representatives of sacrifice and holiness – these same beings who assisted Isaiah during his prophetic discourse by placing hot coals upon his lips as atonement for his sins (Isaiah 6:7).
The Thrones or High Ranks angels are among the highest and most powerful angels, directly under Jesus Christ’s control as described in Revelation 11:16 of the New Testament. They rule over other heavenly powers and oversee lower choirs of angels as leaders of creation – judge whether God’s will is being carried out and keep watch over celestial gateways between Heaven and Earth.
Homosexuality refers to an ongoing pattern of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attraction between people of opposite genders that transcends emotional connections or romantic interests. According to Catholic teachings, homosexuality should be seen as an act of sinful behavior and should never be encouraged or condoned by any organization.
Orthodox faith is founded upon Christ’s teachings as codified in Scripture and handed down through his apostles, with Christians following these teachings guided by Holy Spirit through Sacraments to lead lives that reflect this teachings of their Savior.
Orthodox Christians believe in both the foundational principles and divinity of Christ, evidenced through their practice of ordaining bishops and priests ordained through a sacred mystery handed down from Jesus Himself through His apostles to lead, teach, and guide their Orthodox Church communities.
Orthodox Christians believe in the presence of the Holy Spirit throughout life and its ability to regenerate is at the center of Orthodox religious belief and practice. Today, Ukrainian orthodox churches remain deeply rooted in these ancient traditions as an important component of Ukrainian culture.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church was established in 1919 as an autonomous branch from Moscow Patriarchate. Since the fall of Soviet Union in 1991, various church structures have emerged with similar missions and goals.
As much as Orthodoxy is a worldwide church, each local church community has its own identity. While diversity may appear daunting at first, it should actually be seen as an asset; it allows for deeper comprehension of sacraments as well as understanding and respecting individual cultural differences for service to God.
The Church celebrates and encourages each person’s individual spirituality through worship and service, reflecting how each worshipper or minister worships and serves. According to its doctrines, people are created in God’s image with unique talents, abilities, and callings that should be respected and valued; its sacraments serve to nurture and develop these spiritual gifts in every individual member of its body of Christ until full communion in Christ’s Kingdom can be realized by all members.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church teaches that God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins, believing we can receive forgiveness of them through his atonement and resurrection. Furthermore, faith and repentance are keys to obtaining salvation.
As Christians are connected by their love for Jesus, it’s crucial that we treat those living with AIDS/HIV with kindness and respect.
An HIV diagnosis can be devastatingly distressing. People living with the virus often feel embarrassed by it and fear others judging negatively about them; this creates social stigmas which make getting tested or seeking treatment more challenging.
There are a number of organizations across the US dedicated to treating AIDS/HIV, providing counseling, education, and support services to those affected by it.
One way of helping is to raise awareness of the AIDS/HIV epidemic and encourage people to get tested. This can be especially important for new immigrants unfamiliar with American culture who might lack access to medical services.
If you have been diagnosed with HIV, your physician will work closely with you to select an effective course of treatment, which could include medication, nutrition and other forms of support that will allow you to better manage the disease.
AIDS/HIV epidemic has affected millions worldwide. Alongside its physical toll, it has caused serious social consequences including poverty and hunger – issues which may worsen if those living with the illness cannot work to earn money to provide for themselves and their families.
Studies have shown that proper nutrition helps infected individuals respond more favorably to medications and have more energy to remain productive while remaining healthy.
However, the AIDS/HIV epidemic in Ukraine has resulted in political tension. Specifically, the government is currently working to remove a contemporary clinic which helps thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS near Pecherska Lavra from a building nearby – human rights groups contend this action by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate which has close ties with Russian authorities and has been decried as a “Russian fifth column”.
Death can be an emotional time, yet also mark the start of something new for Christians. After death, Christians receive multiple blessings from the Holy Spirit that prepare them for eternal life in heaven; therefore many choose to bury their dead.
Orthodox Christianity places great value on the sacredness of life. Therefore, suicide is generally not tolerated within its community; an exception would be if an individual committed suicide due to medical condition; in this instance a physician can state in an authoritative way that the person was not in their right mind at the time they took their own life.
Ukrainians are an ethnically and religiously diverse population with rich religious traditions dating back to the 4th century. One such faith is Eastern Orthodoxy, which can be divided into two branches: Orthodox Church of Ukraine and Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate.
Both churches share a language and some traditions in common; however, their approaches differ regarding Russia and Soviet Russia. Recently, however, Ukraine achieved autocephaly or ecclesiastical independence.
As some members of the UOC remain pro-Moscow, any action by the government to clamp down on it would likely violate international law and could violate religious liberty for other Ukrainians, according to Anna Prodromou of Washington Institute for Religious Freedom.
She acknowledged there may be pro-Moscow elements within the church, but any enforcement must be transparent and respect religious liberty enshrined in its constitution. If any crackdown was necessary by government authorities, she suggested they do it in an effective manner.
At Orthodox funerals, death can be both tragic and hopeful. After an Orthodox death occurs, their body will be bathed and dressed with special clothing to make sure it can be safely buried – typically this task is undertaken by a priest, although family and close friends are sometimes present for this important ritual. Finally, prayers of condolence will be said over them as their casket is placed beneath an oaken tombstone for final resting place.