WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (PIX11) — Organizers expected maybe 100 people to demonstrate in support of peace in Ukraine on Sunday and instead they got five times as many participants.

More than 500 people formed a human chain in Williamsburg from our Lady of Mount Carmel Annunciation parish to Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church to pray for peace in Ukraine. Organizers were thrilled by the turnout and the passion of those in attendance. Many were not Ukrainian but wanted to show their support.

“Most people were not from the neighborhood,” Kasia Pradyvus, one of the many organizers of the chain told PIX11 News. “They heard from someone and they came for world peace.”

There were songs for peace and prayers and a resolve never to give up hope.

“We are united in prayer that this war will end and that we will stay united in peace and love and in faith,” Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello told the crowd.

This prayer service also recognized Ukrainian Independence Day celebrated just days ago on Aug. 24. Those with relatives fighting back in Ukraine say they will never give up:

“We are peaceful people. We usually never fight,”  Oleksandra Pradyvus, a Ukrainian American Williamsburg resident told PIX11 News. “We need to be strong, brave always, in prayer.”