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Russian Orthodox Mission in Mexico Helps Ukrainians, Says Nationality Makes No Difference

© AFP 2023 / JOEL SAGETA picture taken in Moscow on May 6, 2016 shows the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation dedicated to the Annunciation of the Theotokos.
A picture taken in Moscow on May 6, 2016 shows the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation dedicated to the Annunciation of the Theotokos. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.03.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Russian Christian Orthodox mission in Mexico supports Ukrainians in need and they can see that the church is providing help to all, without distinction on the basis of nationality, head of the mission Archimandrite Nektariy (Hajji-Petropoulos) told Sputnik.
"We keep serving those Ukrainians living in Mexico who are in need and they become witnesses that the Russian monastery is there to help. We make no difference with respect to ethnicity or nationality. We serve Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Georgians and others in need," Archimandrite Nektariy said.

Some Ukrainian parishioners in Mexico stopped visiting the church after Russia began its special military operation in Ukraine, Nektariy said. However, others continue to attend services, he added.

"I had to tell them: Please listen, we do not serve any state, we do not serve any country. We serve the Lord and we are open to all Orthodox people, not only to Russians. We are praying for both Russians and Ukrainians," Nektariy said.

Many Ukrainians residing in Mexico know about the Russian Orthodox mission there and have received help when they were in need, Nektariy said.

"These people know that mission members do not make a difference on nationality and do not serve interests of any particular country," he continued.

In a sign of treating people equally regardless of nationality, Nektariy put the Russian and the Ukrainian flags near the iconostasis, in addition to other flags that were placed there before.

"I want people to see that there are no differences among us. Yes, we are the Russian church but we are not just serving Russians," he said, adding that parishioners have been asked not to discuss politics.

The mission in Mexico will participate in several fundraising events organized by the Western American diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), the ROCOR Fund for Assistance and several local organisations in the country to help Ukrainian refugees, Nektariy said.

"Certainly we will send our part," he added.

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine responding to calls for help from the Donbas republics in defending themselves against the aggression of Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defense Ministry said the operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only, but later accused Ukrainian forces of using typical terrorist methods, such as hiding behind civilians and positioning weapons systems in civilian areas.
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