Mainers gathered late Sunday afternoon at an Episcopal church in Portland to pray for peace in Ukraine, attending a service that was just one among many gatherings and protests held around the United States and the world after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of the Eastern European country last week.

The vigil was held at St. Luke’s Cathedral on State Street. About 40 people turned out for the service, which was led by Bishop Thomas Brown and the Rev. Ben Shambaugh.

The vigil, which also was livestreamed, included music, Scripture readings and prayer as participants reflected on what the church described as God’s vision of a world without conflict among nations. The vigil also gave those who took part the opportunity to express their solidarity with the people of Ukraine and with neighbors who are fearful and anxious following the attack by Russia.

Brown said Putin has miscalculated how powerful a world united in its prayer for peace can be. Quoting from a Ukrainian American who lives near Chicago, Brown added, “Putin can invade us, but Putin underestimates the power of God when people pray.”

The bishop continued: “In the last three days we are beginning to grasp the likelihood that this war is not going to be short-lived. The citizens of the world are now entering a season in which our prayers must increase in rhythm, in frequency and in focus. In other words, we can’t just plan a few prayer vigils and think that we have done our part.”

“My own sadness is compounded by humanity’s inclination toward war. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is yet another horrific example,” Brown said.

The bishop noted that Russia’s invasion threatens not only lives, but places in peril some of Ukraine’s beautiful churches, “including our own community of Anglicans, at Christ Church in Kyiv.”

Meanwhile, protesters gathered across Europe on Sunday to demand an end to the war in Ukraine. One of the largest demonstrations took place in Berlin, where more than 100,000 people gathered, holding signs that read “Stop the War” and “We stand with Ukraine,” according to Reuters.

Similar protests took place in London, Prague, Rome and Madrid. Thousands of protestors gathered Saturday in New York’s Times Square.

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