What the Church is doing to help in Eastern Europe

The Church News is compiling information about the humanitarian crisis caused by armed conflict in Eastern Europe. This article will be updated.

May 10 — Why 2 women drive 14 hours to deliver aid to a Ukrainian meetinghouse transformed into a refugee waystation

The Lviv, Ukraine, meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been transformed into a refugee center in early 2022.
The Lviv, Ukraine, meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been transformed into a refugee center in early 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Delivering relief supplies into eastern Ukraine repeated over the past several months, Kym Reichart and Raphaela Hasse of Schwabmüchen, Germany, have traveled the 14-hour distance from southern Germany, through the Czech Republic and Poland and into Lviv, where a meetinghouse there is not only a collection point for supplies but has transformed into a critical waystation for refugees leaving Ukraine.

See the gathering place

April 27 — How music is an unlikely tool that could help ease the burden of refugees in Europe

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, center, and conferencegoers sing at the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, center, and conferencegoers sing at the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 21, 2022. Credit: Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

An international group of men and women trying to make a difference sat in the historic Salt Lake Tabernacle choir seats last week and listened raptly as Elder L. Whitney Clayton, an emeritus General Authority Seventy, shared a relevant story.

Read about how music therapy might improve the mental health of refugees

April 25 — Shoes in Netherlands, suture kits in Switzerland, welcome bags in the United Kingdom

Women of the Chelmsford 1st and 2nd wards in the Ipswich England Stake gather in April 2022 to sew welcome packs for Ukrainian refugees.
Women of the Chelmsford 1st and 2nd wards in the Ipswich England Stake gather in April 2022 to sew welcome packs for Ukrainian refugees. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Donated shoes in the Netherlands. Suture sets and medical kits from Switzerland. And welcome bags crafted in the United Kingdom. That and more are among the latest efforts of good works by members and congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout Europe to help with the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

The Church has authorized special funds to be used locally by each stake across the Europe North and Europe Central areas for support of Ukrainian refugees.

Learn what Latter-day Saints are doing to help in the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom

April 24 — Latter-day Saint Ukrainian refugees find rest in Christ, kindness of others

Ukrainian refugee Liia, 3, picks meat off her sister’s plate, prompting laughs from her aunt Diana, mother Natasha and host Oliver Berndt at Berndt’s home in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. The Berndt family is hosting the refugees who fled Ukraine during the war.
Ukrainian refugee Liia, 3, picks meat off her sister’s plate, prompting laughs from her aunt Diana, mother Natasha and host Oliver Berndt at Berndt’s home in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. The Berndt family is hosting the refugees who fled Ukraine during the war. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Latter-day Saints in Berlin, Germany, and other European communities have opened their homes and hearts to Ukrainian refugees seeking shelter and peace.

Find out about their experiences

April 23 — ‘Greatly desiring to see thee’: Elder Uchtdorf shares message of joy, encouragement with German-speaking Saints in Austria, Germany and Switzerland

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles greets people at the Friedrichsdorf, Germany, meetinghouse on April 22, 2022. He spoke at a devotional in Friedrichsdorf that was livestreamed to German-speaking Latter-day Saints in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles greets people at the Friedrichsdorf, Germany, meetinghouse on April 22, 2022. He spoke at a devotional in Friedrichsdorf that was livestreamed to German-speaking Latter-day Saints in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Latter-day Saints, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles acknowledged in a devotional broadcast originating in Friedrichsdorf, Germany, to German-speaking Latter-day Saints in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, are living in a time of uncertainty and danger. They need and pray for one another. “And we recognize the countless good deeds that are happening around us every day.”

Read more about Elder Uchtdorf’s remarks

April 11 — Elder Uchtdorf, a former refugee, promises Ukrainian refugees in Poland: ‘You are not alone’

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, hugs Ukrainian youth including Sofiia Naboichenko, left, outside of the Warsaw Latter-day Saint Meeting House in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday, April 10, 2022.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, hugs Ukrainian youth including Sofiia Naboichenko, left, outside of the Warsaw Latter-day Saint Meeting House in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday, April 10, 2022. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Sunday, April 10, offered a few hours of light and hope dozens of other Latter-day Saint refugees from Ukraine. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and himself a two-time refugee, presided over a devotional for Ukrainian refugees who have found temporary refuge in Poland.

Find out more about Elder Uchtdorf’s ministry in Poland

April 10 — Amid Europe’s difficulties, Elder Uchtdorf spends a few minutes of quiet remembrance in Germany

Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf and Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles react as they see missionaries near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday, April 9, 2022.
Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf and Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles react as they see missionaries near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

In Berlin, Germany, with his wife, Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf, at his side, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited several commemorative sites — including the Berlin Wall Monument, the Holocaust Memorial and the Plötzensee Memorial Center. The Memorial Center is at the site of an infamous prison where more than 2,800 inmates were executed, including a 16-year-old teen named Helmuth Hubener, a devout Latter-day Saint and reportedly the youngest person ever ordered to his death by the Third Reich’s People’s court.

The April 9 visits marked a somber afternoon as the Uchtdorfs reflected on the region’s difficult past and the challenging circumstances facing many today in Europe. Later in the afternoon the Uchtdorfs participated in a Germany Berlin Mission Conference.

See where the Uchtdorfs visited in Germany

April 9 — Read about latest humanitarian efforts from across Europe aiding refugees

Senior missionary volunteers communicate with deaf refugees through sign language in Poland.
Senior missionary volunteers communicate with deaf refugees through sign language in Poland. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Since the onset of the Ukrainian crisis, the Church’s Welfare and Self-Reliance Services has been proactively involved in hundreds of humanitarian outreach efforts throughout Europe.

Together with local Church leaders and members, Welfare and Self-Reliance Services is coordinating assistance for those of all faiths at border crossings, gathering hubs and local Church buildings.

See pictures of efforts from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Iceland and United Kingdom 

April 5 — See how rolling suitcases, border meals, painted furniture and maternity wards provided by European Saints are helping Ukrainian refugees

Relief Society sisters paint furniture at Caritas homeless refugee center in Friedrichsdorf and Frankfurt, Germany.
Relief Society sisters paint furniture at Caritas homeless refugee center in Friedrichsdorf and Frankfurt, Germany. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

From rolling suitcases to hot meals, and from painting furniture to creating a maternity center, refugee relief efforts throughout Europe by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members continue to aid displaced Ukrainians.

Read about the latest service in Germany, Moldova, Poland, France, Slovakia and Czech Republic

March 27 — Church donates additional $4 million to 7 projects to help refugees in Europe

Church members in Spain pack boxes of food items and medical supplies to donate to groups helping Ukrainians in spring 2022.
Church members in Spain pack boxes of food items and medical supplies to donate to groups helping Ukrainians in spring 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is donating an additional $4 million for seven projects to help humanitarian efforts in Europe, reported the Church’s United Kingdom Newsroom on Friday, March 25. Welfare and Self Reliance Services also has a short summary with of the l titled “How To Minister to Others During a Crisis” links to the manual in 14 languages. Also, how the Church is helping in Hungary, the United Kingdom and Spain.

Find out more about the 7 projects and how members are helping in Hungary, the U.K. and Spain

March 24 — Ukrainian refugees ministered to in many ways around Europe

The crowded train station in Krakow, Poland.
The crowded train station in Krakow, Poland. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Latter-day Saints in many European countries minister each day in unexpected ways to individuals fleeing the armed conflict in Ukraine. These efforts take place at the hands of individuals, families, wards, stakes or coordinated across countries.

See how many members of the Church who are Ukrainian refugees have received help so far

March 17 — Church members help refugees in Eastern Europe through online and offline efforts

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Moldova supply refugees with blankets at the Ukrainian border in this picture from March 2022.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Moldova supply refugees with blankets at the Ukrainian border in this picture from March 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Church members in several European countries are helping refugees from Ukraine by making monetary donations and providing shelter, food, supplies and other necessities. Many are opening their own homes. Others are providing support online.

Find the websites helping refugees, and see the relief efforts in several countries

March 14 — Church gives $4 million to help refugees in Europe

The Medyka Polish border crossing and reception center.
The Medyka Polish border crossing and reception center. Credit: Photo courtesy of UNHCR

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given $2 million each to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, and the World Food Programme, or WFP, to help those displaced by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

The funds are being used immediately for core relief items such as blankets, solar lanterns, tents and shelters, said Lacey Stone, UNHCR’s director of private sector engagement and partnerships in the United States.

Read more about where the money will help

March 6 — How the Church, its leaders and members in Europe are providing aid and relief in the humanitarian crisis caused by armed conflict

A truck is loaded with relief items assembled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Frankfurt, Germany. The supplies were delivered to refugees in Hungary and Romania.
A truck is loaded with relief items assembled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Frankfurt, Germany. The supplies were delivered to refugees in Hungary and Romania. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Amid armed conflict in Europe, leaders and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continue to actively participate in humanitarian and relief efforts.

Coordinated efforts by area and local leaders and Church members are occurring in all European countries.

The Church of Jesus Christ is continuing its help not only through member and congregational efforts but also partnering with other relief organizations.

See examples in Germany, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic and others

March 5 — The Church and Latter-day Saint Charities were ready to help refugees in Europe, Sister Eubank explains

People carry their belongings at the Ukrainian-Polish border crossing in Korczowa, Poland, Saturday, March 5, 2022.
People carry their belongings at the Ukrainian-Polish border crossing in Korczowa, Poland, Saturday, March 5, 2022. Credit: Olivier Douliery, Pool Photo via Associated Press

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its humanitarian arm, Latter-day Saint Charities, were ready to help refugees from Eastern Europe at the start of the crisis in Ukraine, and the two are committed in Europe — as they have been around the globe — to help people for the long term in rebuilding their societies.

Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency and president of Latter-day Saint Charities, also underscored three basic principles to engage in more effective humanitarian outreach as she spoke Friday, March 4, to a group of international thought leaders.

Learn how reserve funds helped with the quick response

March 5 — Europe Area presidency invites Latter-day Saints in Europe to join in day of prayer, fasting

A family bow their heads during prayer in sacrament meeting. March 6, 2022, was a day of prayer and fasting in the Church’s Europe Area.
A family bow their heads during prayer in sacrament meeting. March 6, 2022, was a day of prayer and fasting in the Church’s Europe Area. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Mindful of current conflict, commotion and suffering, the Church’s Europe Area presidency invited Latter-day Saints in Europe to take part in an areawide day of fasting and prayer on Sunday, March 6.

As followers of Jesus Christ, “we long for resolution, comfort and peace during these times,” said the letter from the area presidency — Elder Massimo De Feo, Elder Erich W. Kopischke and Elder Ruben V. Alliaud, all General Authority Seventies.

Find out what else the Europe Area Presidency wrote to members

March 3 — How the Church is helping with humanitarian aid in Eastern Europe

Warehouse coordinator David Vazquez uses a forklift to load pallets of food into a trailer at the Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020.\
Warehouse coordinator David Vazquez uses a forklift to load pallets of food into a trailer at the Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020.\ Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others are asking what the Church is doing to help with the developing humanitarian crisis resulting in Eastern Europe from the current armed conflict and how they themselves can assist.

The Church released a statement Thursday evening, March 3:

“From the earliest hours, the Church began contacting friends and collaborating organizations in the region to assess needs and purchase food and other necessities.”

See the full statement

Feb. 25 — Status of Church’s missionaries in Ukraine, volunteers in Russia

The Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
The Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News, Deseret News

With the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Europe, questions have arisen about the status of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ full-time missionaries in Ukraine and full-time volunteers in Russia.

In January, the Church temporarily reassigned full-time missionaries from the Ukraine Kyiv/Moldova and Ukraine Dnipro missions to locations outside of Ukraine. The announcement came in a Jan. 24 statement from Church spokesman Sam Penrod.

On Friday, Feb. 25, Penrod said the Church currently has no foreign full-time volunteers in Russia.

See how many volunteers were reassigned

Feb. 25 — First Presidency issues statement on armed conflict

The Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City, Utah. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a statement on armed conflict, pleading that “peace will prevail among nations and within our own hearts.”

“We are heartbroken and deeply concerned by the armed conflict now raging. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has members in each of the affected areas and throughout the world. Our minds and hearts have been turned toward them and all our brothers and sisters.”

Read more of the statement here