CEC-UCCRO joint statement calls for just and lasting peace in Ukraine

15 April, 2024

Flags for fallen soldiers in Kyiv. Photo: Jonas Jørgensen
Flags for fallen soldiers in Kyiv. Photo: Jonas Jørgensen

Press Release No: 07/24
15 April 2024

The following statement issued jointly by the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO) condemns the ongoing Russian aggression on Ukraine, conveys solidarity to those impacted by the war, and calls for just and lasting peace in the region. The statement has been issued following CEC visit to Ukraine held from 8-10 April.

As representatives of CEC, together with the UCCRO, we stand united in condemning the aggression perpetrated by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which has been raging since 2022. The unprovoked invasion of Ukrainian territory has inflicted immeasurable suffering upon thousands of innocent civilians, destabilising the region, and violating the fundamental principles of international law and human dignity.

Furthermore, we are deeply troubled by the complicity of the Russian Orthodox Church in legitimising this unjust conflict. Following the invasion, CEC has openly urged Patriarch Kirill to raise his voice against Ukraine war, however, with no response. We also condemn documents recently issued by the World Russian People’s Council, justifying Russian aggression against Ukraine. As followers of Christ, it is profoundly distressing to witness a church endorse acts of aggression and violence that directly contradict the teachings of peace inherent in the Christian faith.

We also express our unwavering solidarity with churches, as well as international ecumenical and humanitarian organisations, for their constant efforts in providing humanitarian aid and support to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the conflict, regardless of the difficulties.

It is incumbent upon us as people of faith to uphold the principles of compassion. As such, we call for continued humanitarian assistance to be provided to the people of Ukraine, who are in dire need of food, shelter, medical care, and psychological and spiritual support to rebuild their lives.

Moreover, we emphasise the importance of dialogue and reconciliation among religious and political actors as indispensable prerequisites for achieving lasting peace in the region.

Amidst the cacophony of global events, it is undeniable that Ukraine, and its people, are gradually fading from the forefront of international consciousness. As the world’s attention is diverted, it is imperative to recognise that Ukraine remains in dire need of support and solidarity. Therefore, let us recommit ourselves to shining a spotlight on the plight of Ukraine, advocating for justice and peace, and ensuring that the Ukrainian people are not forgotten. 

In conclusion, we urge political actors, heads of states, churches and religious communities to join us in condemning the Russian aggression on Ukraine, in expressing solidarity with the churches and people in Ukraine, and in working tirelessly for a just and lasting peace in the region.

May God grant us wisdom, courage, and compassion as we strive to be instruments of his peace in a world torn apart by violence and injustice.

Download the full statement

Learn more about Pathways to Peace

For more information or an interview, please contact:

Naveen Qayyum
Communication Officer
Conference of European Churches
Rue Joseph II, 174 B-1000 Brussels
Tel. +32 486 75 82 36
E-mail: naveen@cec-kek.be
Website: www.ceceurope.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ceceurope
Twitter: @ceceurope
YouTube: Conference of European Churches
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