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'It's just really, really terrifying' | Ukrainians, supporters join in Charlotte for prayer, protest

Hundreds of people with family and friends in Ukraine and Russia are calling for peace in the region.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotteans who support Ukraine gathered for the second time at Romare Bearden Park this week. Hundreds of people with family and friends in Ukraine and Russia are calling for peace in the region.

At the same time in the University Park area, the leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church for North Carolina is asking for prayers.

Both groups are asking for support in different ways for the same outcome: Peace in Ukraine. 

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In the park, supporters of Ukraine walked around with signs that read "Stop the War" and "People of Russia Wake Up." 

“A lot of the media is being kind of censored, especially in Russia, right?" said Anya Doroshdenko, who immigrated from Ukraine when she was a young girl. "My family in Russia doesn't know what's happening really either. And it's just really, really terrifying." 

Catholic Bishop Bohdan Danylo has family in Ukraine. He just left the country two weeks ago.

He leads several Ukrainian congregations in the United States, including here in Charlotte.

He said he’s teaching his congregation forgiveness and hope, but they can not ignore the images coming from the region.

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“The young girl had the teddy bear in the hand and her brother, probably six was saluting," said Bishop Danylo of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in Parma, Ohio. "Those soldiers are not going to Russia. They're just going to protect those kids." 

Many people in support of Ukraine say this is a conflict they didn’t ask for.

“We don't want simple people [to] die in this war," said one Ukrainian supporter. "Yeah, against this politics. We want to be with our family right now. Our hearts are broken.”

Bishop Danylo said prayer is important right now, but there are tangible ways you can help.

“Moments like this. Even the war in Ukraine is a reminder for us to take faith seriously to ask ourselves what important life is.”

He said faith is paramount, but as the Bible reads in James 2:14-26, it is dead with no work behind it.

Contact Shamarria Morrison at smorrison@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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