I am a Latvian Canadian and Latvian Lutheran pastor. My family were displaced persons, arriving in Canada in 1948 and at the time, I was five years old.
I am concerned about Russia’s war against Ukraine, a free and independent country. The world is experiencing the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, with a refugee population of over four million, which Pope Francis has called a senseless war.
It is good that humanitarian efforts are being directed by churches worldwide to help these, as well as so many other refugees. Indeed, in Ukraine, this devastated, levelled country, much aid will be needed in the coming years, simply for restoration and reconstruction work, not even considering the emotional, mental and physical distress of those who have lost children, siblings, mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, as well as relatives and friends. That goes for the thousands killed on both sides, in what appears to be a needless sacrifice of young lives.
Even on Easter Sunday, the fighting continued, as humanitarian corridors were cut off and Ukrainians were sent off to Russian gulags. May the crucified and risen Christ sustain and be with us all in this post-Easter season.
—Rev. Dr. Anita Gaide, Unionville, ON