Header image: Delegation with Senator Chuck Grassley
Razom, in cooperation with Nova Ukraine, HTX4UKRAINE and MedGlobal, recently hosted a delegation of distinguished religious leaders from the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO) for advocacy programming in Washington, D.C. and Houston, Texas.
The Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO) was established in 1996 as an interdenominational institution, aiming to unite the efforts of various denominations to focus on the spiritual revival of Ukraine, coordination of interconfessional dialogue in Ukraine and abroad, participation in a legislative process on church-state issues, and the implementation of comprehensive charitable actions. It is one of the largest nonprofits in Ukraine and represents over 95% of religious communities in Ukraine, including Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities.
During their visit, the delegation engaged in a series of meetings with U.S. government officials, church counterparts, local communities, and media outlets, while also attending a range of public events.
The delegation shared information and perspectives on the state of religious freedoms in Ukraine and highlighted Russia’s disinformation efforts. They also exchanged insights with their U.S. counterparts, shedding light on how Ukrainian religious communities have responded to Russia’s invasion and the profound impact of Russia’s aggression on religious life within Ukraine.
- An interfaith panel with the Atlantic Council at the US Institute for Peace, moderated by Marie Yovanovitch, former Ambassador to Ukraine, followed by a USIP private roundtable.
- A meeting at the State Department with Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain
- A panel discussion at Hudson Institute moderated by Nina Shea
- Meeting with USAID, Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova, Senator Chuck Grassley, the Heritage Foundation, ADAMS Center, the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry and more
- A meeting with Commissioner Eric Ueland and Ex. Dir. Erin Singshinsuk at the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
- A trip to the White House for a meeting with Kelly Razzouk, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy
- A conversation with the American Jewish Committee, hosted by the Consulate General of Ukraine in Houston
- A special Ukraine Gratitude Dinner in Houston hosted by Ecclesia Houston Christian Community, featuring Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
The visit highlighted the unity and diversity of Ukrainian religious communities in the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion, and gave the leaders a chance to spread their message to a wider audience through interviews with the press.
Press coverage highlights include:
- On a US tour, Ukrainian faith leaders plead for continued support against the Russian invasion – by Peter Smith, Associated Press
- Catholic Church in Ukraine facing extermination, bishops say – by Peter Pinedo, Catholic News Service
- Russia is attacking religious freedom in Ukraine. Does Mike Johnson care? – by Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
- Ukrainian Church Leaders Sound Alarm on Russia’s Use of Religious ‘Jihadist’ Language to Prop Up War Effort – by David Zimmerman, National Review
- Ukrainian faith leaders say if Russia prevails, religious freedoms would be curtailed – Kate Scanlon, Catholic Standard
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of our partners and friends for engaging with the UCCRO delegation last week and helping us organize this trip!