Ukrainian World Congress greets diaspora and Ukraine
Following is the text of a Christmas greeting issued by the Ukrainian World Congress, which held its seventh congress in early December, electing Askold Lozynskyj as president for a five-year term.
Christ is Born!
With the approaching celebration of Christ's Nativity and the coming of the New Year, the Ukrainian World Congress sends sincere and heartfelt greetings to the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Churches and unifications, to the Ukrainian people in Ukraine and in the diaspora, to the president and government officials of Ukraine, as well as to the government officials of those countries where our Ukrainian brothers and sisters reside and who support the growth and development of the cultural, national and human rights of their Ukrainian settlers.
Christ's Nativity is a feast of happiness, reunion and generosity. The UWC extends its hand to every Ukrainian wherever he or she may reside and assures them that they may depend on our help and support. The UWC is proud of the successes of independent and democratic Ukraine in its eighth year of independence, and laments its hardships and failures. Nevertheless, we believe in the power of the Ukrainian spirit and are certain that, as in its tragic but glorious past, our nation will overcome today's hardships and will develop its potential.
Recently, the Seventh Ukrainian World Congress concluded its business, during which a new Presidium was elected and resolutions and directives were adopted. The UWC considers itself to be the defender and representative of Ukrainians throughout the world, and is prepared to protect their interests in the global forum and before governments of the world. We are certain that the strength of our nation lies in its ability to unite in crisis and that the misfortunes of the past will not be repeated. This is guaranteed by the independent democratic Ukrainian state, as well as the 20 million Ukrainians who live outside the borders of Ukraine.
Recently we commemorated the greatest tragedy that ever befell our nation. In 1932-1933, 7 million to 10 million men, women and children perished as a result of the Great Famine, which was perpetrated against our brothers and sisters by the occupying enemy and its henchmen. The UWC is striving to ensure that Ukrainians around the world understand and appreciate their history and the power of the invincibility of the spirit of our nation, which could not be destroyed even by the most inhuman cruelty and torture.
Vasyl Symonenko declared: "My nation is and always will be; no one will ever destroy my nation." We need the words of the poet as a guide for our actions. During this time of the great solemnity of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and with the hopes of the New Year, we declare our deep devotion to this sentiment. We pray to the Newborn Child and to the Blessed Virgin to continue to be our protectors.
God's grace, which has held our nation in its embrace for over a millennium, has made possible its rebirth. Our country arose. During this festive season we in particular remember this blessing and thank the Lord for His protection. With every new year our nation is growing more robust and is gaining strength.
It is this faith in the Lord's justice and in His blessing that has kept and maintains the positive spirit of our nation. The renewed celebration of the Birth of the Child of God gives us hope for a better future.
Christ is Born!
Presidium of the Secretariat of the Ukrainian World Congress
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, January 3, 1999, No. 1, Vol. LXVII
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