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Memorial at a Kingdom Hall in Lviv where some 60 displaced brothers and sisters are sheltered

APRIL 29, 2022

UPDATE #7 | Brotherly Love Prevails Amid Ongoing Crisis in Ukraine

Over 210,000 Attend the Memorial

UPDATE #7 | Brotherly Love Prevails Amid Ongoing Crisis in Ukraine

We are happy to report that Jehovah blessed his people in Ukraine so that our brothers and sisters throughout the country were able to observe the Memorial of Christ’s death. Several Kingdom Halls in western Ukraine hosted the Memorial for the displaced brothers and sisters accommodated there. The brothers conducted the Memorial mostly in small groups, tying in via videoconference those who could not leave their homes.

Brothers and sisters observing the Memorial in a basement in Kharkiv

In most parts of the country, air-raid sirens sounded throughout the day of the Memorial. As evening fell, the sirens stopped. “We had been praying that the Memorial would not be interrupted because of shelling,” explained Sherhiy of Druzhkivka, Donetsk Region. “Shortly before the Memorial, the shelling stopped and there were no air-raid sirens.”

A group of elderly and infirm publishers in Nemishaeve, near Kyiv, had not been able to attend a meeting in more than a month. They had been praying to attend the Memorial. Vitaliy, an elder, helped the group to observe the Memorial. “There was no electricity,” he said, “so we conducted the Memorial by flashlight. There was no heat. We had no music, so my daughter played the violin to help us sing the songs.”

Oleksandr, an elder living in the war zone, related: “During the Memorial invitation campaign, we could not write letters to people in our congregation territory because the houses were bombed and abandoned. Therefore, we invited our acquaintances, people we met in basements, and people with whom we were evacuated. Many we met had never listened to Witnesses before. Many of them joined us for the Memorial.”

A couple in Ukraine held the Memorial by candlelight as there was no electricity. They charged their phone using a generator in a nearby village

Although a complete report from all congregations in Ukraine is not yet available, it is known that more than 210,000 people attended the Memorial.

Expressing his feelings about the Memorial, one of our brothers in Ukraine said: “Just as a lighthouse assures sailors that they are close to the shore, the Memorial observance assures me that the day of Jehovah is soon to come. This year’s Memorial made my conviction even firmer.”

As of April 21, 2022, the following totals have been reported from Ukraine. These statistics are based on confirmed reports from the local brothers. However, the actual numbers may be higher, since it is difficult to maintain communication with all regions of the country.

Effect on Our Brothers and Sisters

  • 35 publishers have died

  • 60 publishers have been injured

  • 43,792 publishers have fled their homes to safer areas

  • 374 homes were destroyed

  • 347 homes sustained major damage

  • 874 homes sustained minor damage

  • 1 Kingdom Hall was destroyed

  • 10 Kingdom Halls sustained major damage

  • 27 Kingdom Halls sustained minor damage

Relief Efforts

  • 27 Disaster Relief Committees (DRCs) are operating in Ukraine

  • 44,971 individuals were assisted directly by the DRCs to find safer accommodations

  • 19,961 publishers have fled to other countries and are being assisted by fellow worshippers