Richmond faith leaders will host prayer vigil for Ukraine

WEAG Ukraine Prayer Vigil .jpg
Posted at 5:50 AM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 07:39:39-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond's Interfaith Clergy is hoping to bring the community together Thursday night to pray for Ukraine, as the Russian army continues to invade the country.

So far, more than 1 million refugees have fled Ukraine, and more than 2,000 civilians have been killed.

"It is a massive crisis of proportions that we couldn't comprehend," said Dr. Shane Schlesman, pastor of the West End Assembly of God (WEAG).

Schlesman is one of dozens of faith leaders organizing Thursday night's prayer vigil in Monroe Park. He's asking people to bring their own candles and said there will be Ukrainian music played as pastors lead the community in prayer.

"We feel helpless during times like these, but we're not," Schlesman explained. "Because we can pray, because God's involved and we believe that. We're calling others to come and join us and pray with us."

Schlesman said his church has more than 100 missionaries all over the world, including some in Slovakia and Hungary who are taking in refugees everyday.

"We have missionaries and missions teams that have been to that area of the world, and we know people there," said Schlesman. "We have people who are living here in the states who are fearful for their families and trying to get in touch with them. I know one pastor who's hiding right now in a root cellar as the Russian army is coming through their town."

The West End Assembly of God is working to provide aid to the refugees coming across the border with only the clothes on their backs.

If you’d like to donate, you can visit

"Not $1 of it is going to us," said Schlesman. "We are getting it to the churches that are helping the Ukrainian people in that area."

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