ONE @ 50: Prayer and Protest

In honor of ONE magazine’s 50th-anniversary year, the CNEWA blog series, ONE @ 50: From the Vault, aims to revive and explore the wealth of articles published in ONE magazine throughout its history. This reflection by Archbishop Borys Gudziak on the Revolution of Dignity, first published the Spring 2014 edition of the magazine, offers insights into the significance of these events at a time when Ukraine continues to battle for the rights of its people.

Read an excerpt from “Prayer and Protest” below, then read the full story.

Events are moving rapidly in Ukraine. The Ukrainian nation has matured considerably in the last half year, leaving behind entrenched fear and moving toward claiming its God-given dignity. Journalists covering the recent events in Ukraine who focus on the East-West politics often miss this feature of the Ukrainian revolution: The movement that has mobilized millions has at its foundation the fundamental desire for people to live in dignity, claiming it and protecting it, even at the ultimate price: one’s own life.

This “Maidan movement” — which began in November 2013 in the center of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as a drive to support an agreement with the European Union — took on a new meaning. Borrowed from Arabic, the Ukrainian word “maidan” means much more than “square.” Rather, “maidan” is akin to “agora” in ancient Greek — a place of encounter, discussion and community decision-making. Together, Ukrainians gathered in Maidan Nezalezhnosti (“Independence Square”) grasping for something transcendental — in fact, for something fundamentally spiritual.

Youth and students; the dispossessed; the middle class; city dwellers and villagers; Orthodox Christians, Greek and Roman Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims; and a broad range of civic institutions all came together and said: “Enough! All must be equal before the law. Corruption needs to be overcome. Violence by the government cannot be tolerated!” This was done fearlessly.

Read more.

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