All-Ukrainian Council of Churches appeals to President Putin “to stop the growing fire of war”

Kiev, February 24, 2022

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The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches, consisting of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and other churches and religious organizations in the country, sent an appeal to President Putin of Russia yesterday concerning the events in Donbas, reports the Information-Education Department of the Ukrainian Church.

The appeal was sent to the head of the Russian state yesterday. Thus, it was composed and sent before his announcement of a “special military operation” this morning.

The Council calls on Pres. Putin “to stop the growing fire of war, because it is in your power.”

His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine issued his own appeal on Tuesday, calling for increased prayers for peace and for world leaders to do everything possible to prevent war.

The Council’s appeal reads in full:

Mr. President!

We, the leaders of the religious confessions that are part of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, which represents sixteen religious associations of various denominations and religions, uniting more than 95 % of religious communities in our country: Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Muslims, appeal to you with a request in the name of the Almighty – to stop the growing fire of war, because it is in your power.

We authoritatively and unanimously testify that the Ukrainian people do not seek war, and we consider it a common duty of believers to stop it before it is too late.

The commandment of the Almighty “Thou shalt not kill” defines the absolute value of human life and God’s severe punishment for the murderer. Aggressive war is a great crime against the Almighty God. In the name of preserving the lives of Ukrainian and Russian troops, civilian Ukrainians, true believers must do everything to stop the bloodshed.

The only pious way to correct mutual difficulties and contradictions is through dialogue. We invite you to such a peacemaking dialogue. The Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations is ready to contribute to such a dialogue as much as possible and is ready to make all necessary efforts to find ways that could lead to the easing of tensions between our states and contribute to the resumption of peace, prevent the possibility of the development of new large-scale conflicts, preserve mutual understanding and cooperation between people around the world.

In all our religious traditions, we greet each other with the wish of peace – “Peace be upon you!”. May this greeting be not only an exclamation but the foundation of us walking in God’s eyes!

Today we pray to the Creator of the Universe with a special request for wisdom for those who are authorized to make decisions so significant for the whole world, in whose hands the fate of humanity has turned out to be. This applies primarily to you, Mr. President of the Russian Federation. This prayer of ours is filled with hope for the generosity of the Almighty God and the openness of the heart that accepts grace.

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Juan3/24/2022 10:29 am
Katherine: It would be good for you to address a similar tirade against the neofascists who have been killing peaceful citizens, including as many as 100 children, in Donbass for the past eight years. Who have been torturing and killing people there because they don't spreak Ukainian. See this about the Greek communities there, for example: Or the Ukrainina army for using civilians as human shields, and not letting them out of the cities through humanitarian corridors. "Woe unto you, hypocrites!"
Katherine3/24/2022 7:09 am
What is worse our own Vi e President Haris brought this up and mentioned on television in the United States, that Ukraine may join NATO! That was when this began! It is not her fault directly, but indirectly she touched a terrible sore in Putin evidently. He was upset as Ukraine wanted to be independent as a church and not under the thumb of Russia. But yet they continued to have church in the same way, and this was their desire and they were doing fine in their country. Now it is demolished. These are very strong people who need all they can to shield themselves from death and ruin. It is true that this is a terrible murder Pres Putin has started because of jealousy and a huge need for power. This will not be owned at all in his in the next life. Is it really that important now as he is older now anyway. He cannot own countries or anything else including people, after this life at all. But he does need to think twice of where he is going when he leaves earth,if he continues on like this at all longer? God knows the truth, but it does not look good. God does not want us all trying to own what every one else has. Is he truly thinking God will forgive if he does not end this and forgive too and get on his knees and repent? He needs confession, and he needs the Lord to see his pain, hopefully the Lord can see something about him 'trulthful'he has had in his faith.. Evidently, Putin is in pain. In some way he is hurting deeply. Also, it is making the Russian Orthodox Churches look badly in people's eyes. Especially those thinking of coming into the church. Not good at all. This is wrong and we know it is wrong. We all know it is wrong. But yet we must pray for him as well as he is not doing well in some way but it is not any reason to kill his own brother and sisters. What would his own mother think now of him? I feel the Ukrainian Pres is showing the strength in this all. They all are strong people. We must just pray for peace ! For the end of all the hate and crime this world holds inside for all else. They need forgivness and love to fill the hearts.
Theodoros2/24/2022 6:55 pm
This terrible conflict could have been stopped if Washington agreed that Ukraine should not join NATO. Since 1998, NATO has been expanding and encircling Russia. This self righteous arrogance of the west may have made this conflict inevitable. Russian security interests were ignored. The exploitation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and some bishops in Greece in furtherance of an anti Russian agenda demonstrated how far American officials were willing to go to damage Russia. Hopefully, there will be a ceasefire and Western leaders will come to their senses. Maybe those Greek Patriarchs and bishops who recognized the schismatics will recognize they have been used and will repent.
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