Apr 26, 2012

Easter in Libya: The story of Zechariah, an Orthodox priest

Archpriest Zakaria Kerstyuk meeting with Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian prisoners

by Николай Сологубовский
(April 15)- Easter service in Libya has been performed by the Department of External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by Archpriest Zakaria Kerstyuk.
In April, he was able to meet with Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian prisoners.

- When I was driving there, it was not clear what to do and how. Chaos in the country, its domestic social structure destroyed, wages and social benefits as well. At night - the shooting.I could not get used to waking up to 20 times a night because of shooting... But thank God we managed to get permission for Easter service. Until recently I did not believe that we really can make it and that people would come, because the country is not calm, constant shooting, the curfew. Thank God at the evening service first came 70 people, then more of them arrived, so in total there were about 200 people, including children.
Before the war I served in Libya 18 services - and none of them was as crowded as this Easter.
I painted 150 eggs, and that was not enough. Gospel was read in nearly 10 languages - Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Arabic, Serbian, Spanish, German, French, English ...
We prayed, served ...
And I was happy that we were able to come - sing songs and raise the spirit.
Then I tried to arrange a meeting with our prisoners, and the fact that it took place, it was only by the grace of God.
April 17th, I met with the Ukrainians, Belorussians and Russians, which the Libyan rebels held for about eight months.
Prior to this, I was very excited, could not sleep the night before, because at any given moment they could have canceled the meeting ...
Accompanied by the security service we have come to the prisoners, I congratulated them on Easter, gave each one of them the icon, Prayer, Easter eggs and spiritual literature.
We set at the table, television journalists arrived and the Ambassadors of Ukraine and Belarus Nikolai Nagorny, and Anatoly Steppe.
I was able to communicate with each of the prisoners, even to call their families on a mobile, we talked for about two hours. The prisoners told us during a visit about their improved living conditions.
Here you can see the photos: http://www.taday.ru/text/1596553.html

Zachary - brave man!
This Orthodox priest!
I met him in Moscow before the trip, he said that he MUST be in Tripoli on Easter! He talked about it calmly and confidently. And he knew what was going on, he knew he risked ...
Honour and glory to this man!
During the trials, he was with captives, our countrymen, and supported them spiritually.
When will they see the freedom?
How to confront the world of violence and lawlessness?
The tragedy of the Libyan people is in our hearts.
The responsibility for the fate of our compatriots and the Libyan patriots languishing in NATO prisons - lies on our shoulders.

Source: http://www.proza.ru/2012/04/26/331
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