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SEATTLE – Ukrainian churches are praying for relief.
“We reacted, of course, by shock,” said Holy Trinity Ukrainian Mission Parish priest Andriy Matlak. “By devastation in our hearts and souls for what’s happening with our families.”
Most parishioners were said to still have family in Ukraine. Matlak told Fox News more people are attending church to pray since Russia attacked.
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“Since everything started to go, we have a lot of people who join,” Matlak said.
While Matlak is leading prayers in Seattle, National Orthodox Church of USA Archbishop Daniel Zelinsky is doing the same in New Jersey. He led almost 600 people in prayer at the National Ukrainian Church on Monday.
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“We had people from various ways of life coming and showing support for Ukrainians,” Zelinksy said.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church already has raised some $500,000 nationwide. The money is going to medical and humanitarian relief.
“There are numerous people that come in through the doors of the church,” Zelinsky said. “Leaving flowers. Leaving financial donations.”
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It’s more than Ukrainians pitching in.
“I did not expect that much support from people who are not Ukrainian,” said Holy Trinity Ukrainian Mission Parish Treasurer Oksana Pierce. “It’s Americans, Asian Americans. It’s everyone. Everyone is supporting us.”
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Pierce has been on the streets raising money to help her family and others still in Ukraine. She’s hoping the first donations are just the start.
“At the level of catastrophe that I am seeing, we will need a lot of help,” Pierce lamented.