Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is calling on people to join with Pope Francis today (Wednesday) in a day of prayer for Ukraine.

At the end of the Angelus on Sunday (23rd January), the Pontiff declared today (Wednesday, 26th January) a day of prayer for peace in Ukraine, describing his concerns about increasing tensions in the region.

Echoing his call, Magda Kaczmarek, head of ACN projects in Ukraine, released a message, inviting the charity benefactors and friends to join in the prayer day.

She said: “ACN is very happy to join the appeal of Pope Francis to pray for Ukraine.

“We should pray – please show your solidarity and, if you want, please fast with us.”

Her words come after Ukrainian Greek Catholic Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk also declared support for the prayer day.

The major archbishop said: “Pray. Wherever you are or will be, say a prayer with this intention [for peace].

“May God accept our prayers, fasting and penance.

“May our prayer for peace in Ukraine and the whole world be stronger than the weapon.”

Highlighting the threat to peace in Ukraine and security in Europe in general, Pope Francis said on Sunday: “I make a heartfelt appeal to all people of good will to raise prayers to Almighty God that all political actions and initiatives may be at the service of human brotherhood rather than partisan interests.”

Ukraine has been a priority country for ACN for many years.

In 2020, ACN supported 278 projects in Ukraine, prioritising help for seminaries, monasteries, Catholic media and catechesis (Christian education and formation).