Archbishop of Canterbury visits Kyiv to see courage of Ukrainians

Archbishop of Canterbury in Ukraine

Justin Welby with Krystyna Laschenko and her daughter (Image: Lambeth Palace)

The Archbishop of Canterbury lauded Ukraine’s “extraordinary courage” at the start of a three-day visit to the capital Kyiv.

Most Rev Justin Welby is making the Advent visit to show solidarity with Ukrainians in the face of the Russian bombing that has left many with power outages over the winter.

He will also meet Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced people and learn how the Church of England can continue to offer its support.

Arriving yesterday on a train from the Polish capital of Warsaw, the archbishop said: “The people of Ukraine have shown extraordinary courage in the face of the illegal, unjust and brutal invasion of Russia.

“This visit is about showing solidarity with them as they face a deeply difficult winter. I look forward to meeting with church leaders and local Christians in Kyiv and learning how we can continue to support them amid the ongoing devastation, loss and destruction of this war.’

Poland and Ukraine both have small communities of Anglicans.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Justin Welby visited a migrant support center during his visit (Image: Getty Images)

The Archbishop was accompanied in Kyiv by Krystyna Lashenko, the keeper of Christ Church Kyiv, and her daughter Marharyta Stafiichuk.

During her stay in Warsaw, Dr. Welby describes the Ukrainian House – a migrant support center that has been supporting Ukrainian refugees since the Russian invasion began in February – and said it was “deeply moving” to hear their stories.

“This season of Advent we remember that Jesus was born into conflict and persecution — and became a refugee when his parents fled violence and persecution to seek safety in Egypt,” he added.

dr Welby urged Christians around the world “to continue praying for the people of Ukraine this Advent season — along with all people caught up in conflicts around the world — and to offer our solidarity and support in any way we can.”

His visit to Ukraine was followed by a visit to Mozambique last week, where he met people affected by terrorists linked to Daesh in the South African nation.

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Justin Scacco

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