On July 15th ISKCON News has reported that due to the escalating military conflict in Eastern Ukraine, among many others, hundreds of ISKCON devotees were also forced to leave their homes and take refuge in safer places in Ukraine and other countries.
ISKCON Ukraine has immediately set up a campaign to provide for these refugees at devotees’ homes, as well as in a retreat center, which, at the moment, needs renovation.
On July 16th, Antakela dasa temple president of ISKCON’s Donetsk temple reported that he, along with a few monks decided it was time for them, too, to leave Donetsk. However, some of the devotees, not wishing to leave, remained there and took on the responsibility to take care of the temple gardens and Tulasi devi, and to maintain a minimum standard of worship of the small Deities who, so far, remained on the altar.
In response to the help being offered internationally to the Ukrainian devotees over the past days, on July 17th, ISKCON Co-GBC Niranjana Swami released the following letter:
“On behalf of the devotees in Ukraine, I would like to express my deep gratitude for the outpouring of support already shown from our worldwide Vaisnava community within the last two days. The response has been overwhelming.
The situation remains volatile and fluid. Each day more devotees are submitting requests for places to take refuge. Each day more facilities are opening up. Repairs on the retreat center have already begun. Most of those who have taken refuge there are providing all the labor required to upgrade the facilities to better accommodate the influx of refugees.
Please continue to check the campaign website for updates. As they come in they will be posted there promptly.donetsk ] [ lugansk ] [ refugee ] [ ukraine ]