WAYNESVILLE, N.C. — The situation is terrible.

Deacon John Cummings is a part of the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Waynesville.

You might expect someone like him to have a heavy accent, but that’s a common misconception.


What You Need to Know:

  • Deacon John Cummings is a part of the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church
  • The church is a part of the Ukrainian Orthodox community
  • Russia invaded Ukraine early Thursday morning (late Thursday night Eastern Time)


“People kind of think that Orthodoxy is about the Russians or the Greeks or whatever, but no, we have our own jurisdiction,” John said. “We have the Orthodox church in America.”

In fact, at his church, they don’t have very many Ukrainians. But they know a lot through their ministry. Right now, the attitude is somber.

“There’s kind of ambivalence. On the one hand, when you see this kind of gross injustice and I see all this going on, there’s an anger, there’s a fear,” John said. “On the other hand, I can’t hate. I can’t even hate Putin. I got to pray for the guy.”

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine becoming a horrible tragedy, the Orthodox community is marred with sadness and pain.

“I can’t imagine because I live in America, it’s safe here,” John said.

Even Russians have spoken up against President Vladimir Putin’s attack, with many of them even protesting it.

“The people I’m talking to and the news I’m listening to, the Russian people don’t want what’s going on,” John said. “In fact, a lot of times, they’re not talking about it because they’re embarrassed.”