The travel-study seminar group that Pastor Nichols participated in through the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program was interviewed while they were at Dom Kinonia in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, on the final day of the 13-day trip. An excerpt from the Presbyterian News Service article by Rich Copley:
“The travelers dove right into the conflict of the region on the second day of the trip by visiting Maidan Square in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, one of the centers of the Ukrainian Revolution that saw the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who sought to forge stronger ties with Russia, in favor of a new government that favored working with the European Union.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have simmered and occasionally flared up ever since.
“Being in that square, our group was in a place that was significant — it felt like being in Tiananmen Square sort of, where something significant happened for this country,” said Rev. Carl Horton, coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. “That’s where we started to hear the story of the change in Ukraine … and when we moved on to the Russian side, I was struck by how it was a completely different perspective on this conflict.”
Selden Spencer of Collegiate Presbyterian Church in Ames, Iowa says, “The theme we quite often wrestled with is ‘What is the truth? What is going on? Where do you get your information?’ That continues to be a challenge.
“What I personally carry away is there is a lot of suffering, a lot of sorrow, and it almost feels like the misery of Stalin and World War II and reconstruction after that is ongoing. Folks are somewhat tired.”
Online readers can see the full article HERE. The article is also posted at the church.
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