In a hall full of international guests, including Diplomatic Corps members and the Ukrainian Ambassador to the Holy See, Pope Francis attended a screening of the documentary “Freedom on Fire: Ukraine's fight for freedom.”
The documentary—that illustrates the realities of the war and the resilience of the Ukrainian people—was filmed almost immediately after Russia's invasion of the country in February of 2022.
Following the screening, the Pope held a moment of silent prayer for victims of the war and encouraged the audience to stand up for those who are suffering.
We who have seen the cruelty towards these people defending their identity, who are suffering. We have to be close to their suffering. And pray—pray for these people and pray for peace to come.
After the film was released in 2022, the director,
Evgeny Afineevsky, Ukrainian President Zelensky and Pope Francis himself were all named as recipients of the Cinema for Peace award that promotes global change through film.