Ukraine refugees in Poland

5 March 2023, Bielsko-biała, Poland: 65-year-old Nataliia Zhuzha from Enerhodar (Zaporizjzja), Ukraine, receives an embrace from her granddaughter Lia in her home in the House of Betania in the Wapienica area of Bielsko-biała. Owned by the Cieszyn Diocese of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland, the House of Betania has become home for a number of refugee families from Ukraine, following the Russian invasion in February 2022. The church has renovated the buildings in order to accommodate families in a dormitory style, with private rooms for each family and a shared kitchen, dining room, playing room and hygiene facilities. The house currently hosts 7 families making up a total of some 20 people, most of them women and children. Nataliia fled Ukraine following the Russian invasion together with her two grandchildren Timor (10 years old) and Lia (8 years old), whom she now lives with and cares for in Poland.



We are thankful for:

  • the faithful witness of Christians here through the centuries, especially in times of occupation and persecution
  • the peaceful resolution of disputes
  • the distinctive cultural contributions and resources in these lands
  • the religious freedom and ecumenical cooperation that is growing.

We pray for:

  • greater respect for the Roma people and others who are marginalized and who lack adequate livelihoods in these lands
  • welcoming and engaging those of other faiths and ethnicities
  • growth in spiritual as well as physical health
  • democratic governance that advances God's justice and peace for all.


Oh sweet Christ,
draw us who are weak to you,
since we cannot follow you if you do not draw us on.
Give us a brave, resourceful spirit, and,
if the body is feeble, may your grace precede, mediate and follow,
because without you we can do nothing and we are nothing.
Give us resolute spirits, fearless hearts, true faith, firm hope and perfect love,
that we may patiently and joyfully lay down our lives for you.

(Prayer by John Hus)

For Everlasting Peace

I will appoint peace your governor, and justice your ruler.
No longer shall violence be heard of in your land,
or plunder and ruin within your boundaries.
Isaiah 60:17-1
To the Creator of nature and humankind, of truth and beauty, I pray:
Hear my voice, for it is the voice of the victims of all wars and violence among individuals and nations.
Hear my voice, for it is the voice of all children who suffer and will suffer when people put their faith in weapons and war.
Hear my voice when I beg you to instil into the hearts of all human beings the wisdom of peace, the strength of justice, and the joy of fellowship.
Hear my voice, for I speak for the multitudes in every country and in every period of history who do not want war and are ready to walk the road of peace.
Hear my voice and grant insight and strength so that we may always respond to hatred with love, to injustice with total dedication to justice, to need with the sharing of self, to war with peace.
O God, hear my voice and grant unto the world your everlasting peace.

(Pope John Paul II in “L’Osservatore Romano,” 3-9-81,14)


The apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Corinthians to encourage them. May we have the same hope as the Corinthian church as we pray for the church of God and for all people according to their needs.
Eternal God, we thank you for calling us by name. In you we live and move and grow. We pray for churches and Christians throughout the world. Remind us of our common foundation in Christ . May we grow together in faith and in love, until we attain that unity which is your will.
Build us together in Christ,
Make us your dwelling place.

Send down your Spirit so that we may know Jesus and bear witness to our life and unity in him. May we know the mind of Christ in order to speak God’s wisdom everywhere. Strengthen us to work towards peace and reconciliation in church and society.
Build us together in Christ,
Make us your dwelling place.

We pray for the churches in Slovakia and for all churches which are experiencing change – growth or struggle, reconciliation or conflict. Inspire and strengthen them in works of witness and service.
Build us together in Christ,
Make us your dwelling place.

We pray for those who have no home, no land, no food, no work, no medicine, no peace. May we recognize and serve Christ in the suffering and the needy.
Build us together in Christ,
Make us your dwelling place.

We thank you for all your gifts of creation. Teach us to share with others our time, our energy, our resources and our love. Make us sensitive and responsive to the wounds in the human family and creation. May we be faithful to our calling and live a long life on earth. May we give our whole life to Christ, for we belong to him and in him are united all things on earth and in heaven. Amen.

(Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2005, Slovakia)