Walk for Justice and Peace in Melbourne

March 26, 2024

On Sunday, March 24, Deacon Michael Zylan, Chancellor of the Eparchy of Sts. Peter and Paul of Melbourne, took part in the annual Palm Sunday Walk for Justice and Peace.

Walk for Justice and Peace in Melbourne

The event was organized by Victorian Council of Churches (VCC), where our Eparchy is represented by Bishop Mykola Bychok, Fr. Andriy Mykytyuk, and Deacon Michael Zylan. Over 500 people from a very diverse group of people, including many church people and community groups, gathered in Parliament Gardens. Numbers were down from previous years due to the many other demonstrations and activities coinciding on the same day, but the support, noise, and positive interaction were not diminished.

This year, the program began with several invited people from diverse faith traditions briefly reading from their sacred texts or other writings of importance to their faith community. Since Deacon Michael was among those who pronounced the word, he quoted verses from the Psalms and also read a ‘Prayer for every petition’. At the end of his speech, he presented a candle with words to the audience: “I, Rev. Deacon Michael Zylan, as the Chancellor of our Ukrainian Catholic Church, commit myself to justice and to the pathways to peace. As our symbol of peace, I present a candle as a sign of Christ’s light, which the darkness can never overcome.”

The readings were then followed by several refugee advocates highlighting the current problems with obtaining Visas and the plight of refugees. The interfaith leaders were then invited to lead the walk through the city of Melbourne, holding the ‘Justice for Refugees’ banner.

“With the reality of the current range of conflict in the world, wars, terrorism, disquiet, and all other disturbances that fuel violence — all contribute to internally displaced people, refugees, and people seeking asylum. Ukrainians also fall into these categories, and our representation, participation, and active support in these demonstrations are vitally important,” shared his impressions, Deacon Michael.

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