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You're reading: A prisoner’s Christmas

Here, after my show trial and four and a half months in a cell, I have discovered that there are no atheists in Kyiv’s Lukyanivska prison, either.

When, despite unbearable pain, you are interrogated – including in your cell – for dozens of hours without a break, and an authoritarian regime’s entire system of coercion, including its media, is trying to discredit and destroy you once and for all, prayer becomes the only intimate, trusting, and reassuring conversation that one can have.

God, one realizes, is one’s only friend and only available family, because – deprived even of access to a trusted priest – there is no one else in whom to confide one’s worries and hopes.

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