Candlelight vigil held in Anchorage for Ukraine

A candlelight vigil was put on by Catholic Social Services and New Chance Church March 31, 2022, in Anchorage.
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 1:01 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A candlelight vigil was held at the Delaney Park Strip on Thursday night as people gathered to help shine a light on what’s happening in Ukraine.

The vigil was put on by Catholic Social Services and the New Chance Church’s Ukraine Relief Program. New Chance Church in Anchorage started the program to help raise money for churches in western Ukraine that are serving as shelters for those in eastern Ukraine.

“When the invasion happened in Ukraine, right away we contacted our friends, the partnering churches that we have been partnering with throughout the years,” Ukraine Relief Program’s Zori Opanasevych said. “We asked how we could help? We wanted to know what the need was for them.”

Opanasevych added New Chance Church has many Ukrainian members and connections to churches in Western Ukraine.

Thursday’s vigil served as a chance to support Ukraine and also raise awareness about the millions who are forcibly displaced across the world.

“There are an enormous number of people displaced around the world,” Catholic Social Services CEO Robin Dempsey said. “In 2020, there were 80 million people had fled their country ... due to this issue of persecution and war. We wanted to shine a light on that.”

CSS has a resettlement program and said they will likely see refugees from Ukraine in Alaska in 18 to 24 months.

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