Local Russian Orthodox Church prays for peace, unity

by: Alexa Ashwell Updated:

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CHARLOTTE - Worship at the Reigning Mother of God, a Russian Orthodox Church in north Charlotte, began like any other normal service on Saturday evening.
               
Candles were lit, prayers were recited and songs of praise were sung aloud.

But then Father Alexander Logunov said a personal prayer for the 298 people killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was brought down by a missile in eastern Ukraine.

“We will pray for the victims and the atrocity that has happened,” said Logunov.

Logunov has family in Russia and his wife is Ukrainian. He didn’t want to discuss politics prior to Saturday evening’s service but said simply he doesn’t condone violence from either side.

“It’s so sad,” said Logunov. “It breaks my heart. It’s like seeing two brothers, two sisters or two families fighting.”

He said prayer is his answer to the tragedy. 

Logunov said he and his Perish, which is comprised of both Russians and Ukrainians, have prayed for peace and unity since the beginning of conflicts.

He vowed to stay unified in hopes others follow suit.

“We want to be an example to our brothers and our sisters in the Ukraine and in Russia. We co-exist. We’re together,” he said.