Local Ukrainians pray for relatives caught in violence - FOX 13 News

Local Ukrainians pray for relatives caught in violence

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

They are offering prayers for peace and protection: Parishioners at Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church in St. Petersburg cling to every piece of news coming out of Ukraine.  But the pictures they're seeing give them little comfort.

"It made us increase our prayer intentions and our prayers to god that he would intercede in divine intervention in this," said Father John Stevensky.

It is a trying time for Father Stevensky's parish.

"When the people see that they lose hope and it brings tears to their eyes," he said.

Nearly every member of his church has family in Ukraine, including Mykhaylo Golovko.

"It is scary because that conflict that goes back 350 years. Back and forth, back and forth. How long can our people take that," said Golovko.

Golovko's wife and children live in the western part of Ukraine. He says, for generations, his family has fought -- first the Soviets, and now the Russians.

"I always say if somebody can be on your soil and he has a machine gun in his hand, he is not a peacekeeper," he said.

As Ukrainian reserve units assemble and prepare for what could happen, Golovko's thoughts turn to his own son: He is a lieutenant in the reserves.

"If time comes to protect our country, I think they have no choice everyone will go," he said.

For Golovko and others, prayer is the only option as their homeland faces uncertainty.

"I hope everything is gonna be OK," he added. "We don't want war."

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