Hope and new beginnings: How 3 refugee-oriented Columbus churches celebrate Easter

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Hundreds of refugees from Ukraine will gather for Easter Sunday at a Protestant church on the outskirts of Galloway, surrounded by farms and forests where spring wildflowers are beginning to peak out from beneath buckeye trees.

Around 600 Ukrainians have arrived in Greater Columbus since Russia’s invasion last February. Many lost their homes and remain separated from loved ones. They have coalesced around Grace Evangelical Church, which was founded by émigrés from the Soviet Union in the 1990s and holds services in Ukrainian, Russian, and English.

The Dispatch spoke with leaders of three refugee-oriented congregations in Greater Columbus, including Grace Evangelical’s Associate Pastor Viktor Moskalyuk, about the different and unique ways Easter is celebrated in different corners of the globe. They all spoke of the resurrection as a time of hope and new beginnings, with special resonance for those forced to flee their homes.

“Easter gives us comfort, to those who are fleeing (Ukraine.) Just like Christ has risen from the dead, there will be an end to this war, and that will turn into life,” said Moskalyuk, 37. “That brings a lot of hope to a lot of families right now.”

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