Statement of the European Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad On the Situation in Eastern Ukraine


We, the bishops of the Russian Church Abroad in Europe, are following with sadness and deep concern the events unfolding in eastern Ukraine. Conflicts between peoples by force of arms invariably cause great suffering among the innocent — especially children and the elderly — and bring with them division, one-sidedness and enmity. Our Church in her prayer and ministry has long united Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians and representatives of many other peoples, among whom she carries out her service throughout the world, regardless of state borders or political systems.

We behold with deep appreciation the profound spiritual contribution of Kievan Rus’, later Ukraine, to the Orthodox Church of Christ throughout the world. Its path has been paved by the saints, from the Equal of the Apostles, St Vladimir, who baptised Russia with water, to St Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky), who shed his blood before the Cathedral of the Dormition in Kiev. With his blood, this holy martyr baptised Rus’ anew as Russia entered into a period of atheism, uniting Russia in his heart: he was successively Metropolitan of both Moscow and St Petersburg, and finally of Kiev. This hierarch, the first-offering in the assembly of the holy New Martyrs, shows us by his fate a wondrous, divine connection. And in the same period, when the flock of the Russian Church was scattered throughout the world, Metropolitan Anthony of Kiev and Galicia, born in the region of Novgorod, ascended to the cathedra of Kharkov and then Kiev, and then carried the obedience to be the head of the Russian Church Abroad.

It is not possible to agree with the extremely one-sided picture of current events portrayed by Western sources of information. Events, we know, are much more complex. Not daring to assume the role of judges, but rather fulfilling our calling as humble servants of the Church, we earnestly pray for the appeasement of human souls ‘in the lands of Ukraine’ — for the ‘softening of hearts’; and at the same time, for wisdom to be granted to all those who are now directly responsible for the fate of the peoples in Europe, including both Ukraine and Russia, with Belarus. We lift up these petitions in a special liturgical ‘Prayer for Ukraine’, inserted in our Divine Services in the same place where once, indeed for decades, our prayer for the peoples’ liberation from atheistic power was heard.

We call on everyone — those in power and ordinary citizens — to take heed of the forthcoming Great Fast, and we cry out with the words of the Gospel: ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!’ (Matthew 4.17) , and ‘Repent, the time is near!’ (Apoc. 22.10), Temperance is required of us, not only in food and drink, but above all in sinful thoughts and passions. A sincere appeal to God will save the world from fratricide, and open the way to peaceful solutions to all our present circumstances.

Calling to mind the words of the Grand Duke, St Alexander Nevsky, ‘God is not in power, but in truth!’, we call on all the faithful to intensify their prayers ‘for the peace of the whole world’, for those who suffer, and for the conversion and salvation of the souls of all men.

May God bless and have mercy on all of us!

Munich – London

22 February, 2022

+ Mark, Metropolitan of Berlin and Germany
+ Irenei, Bishop of London and Western Europe
+ Alexander, Bishop of Vevey
+ Job, Bishop of Stuttgart

Orthodox Europe


Ioann3/17/2022 6:43 pm
The “these people sort of had it coming” semi-justifications for this Putinian (versus Christian) invasion of routine leave me cold. Last night after the Presanctified Liturgy, my Priest said to me “I’m surprised that you are still here” - surprised , I guess, given my non-Rus ethnicity and because of the non-stop negativity about the Russian Orthodox in the media and social media. I am an Orthodox Christian who has embraced a form of “Russkiy Mir” but not the form that is in reality “Putinsky Mir.” We Orthodox Christians are always chanting, praying “Put not your trust in princes, in sons of man, in whom there is no salvation.”The Mir that I wish to inhabit takes its form in the persons who inhabit it, persons who are well represented in my parish by their icons and holy relics that surround me: St. Seraphim of Sarov, St. John of Kronstadt, the Saints and Holy Fathers of Optina, St. Matrona of Moscow, St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, St. Herman of Alaska, St. Vladimir Equal to the Apostles, the formidable St. Olga of Kiev, and the Holy Saints and Elders of the Kiev Caves. The Saints are why I have to stay in the Russian Orthodox Church. Some of our hierarchs and priests want to transform the Life in Christ into a “culture war” that has manifests itself as a bloody blitzkrieg where innocents, including my Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters are just collateral damage. Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All-Ukraine has, with discernment, called it for what it is: “fratricide.” A sin. It would benefit all of us who identify ourselves as Russian Orthodox Christians to speak and pray about this war with this kind of clarity. Metropolitan Onufry and the millions that make up his flock are living as confessors. We can’t expect them to die as martyrs - by our own hand.
Anne3/4/2022 10:29 pm
JJ - it might be something to do with the fact that the US has purportedly a number of bio-weapons laboratories in Ukraine...
CW3/3/2022 6:26 pm
in USA freedom means liberty to worship The LORD GOD Creator of all in total liberty. Freely. At least, when we won our independence that's what it meant.
CW3/3/2022 6:21 pm
Dear Beloved Brethren as I came heartbroken here in prayers for all I may say with complete freedom* (as The FATHER Graciously granted that to us in USA when we gained our independence from England) I have gone through the schools (aka indoctrination camps for the masses) here in America. But Thanks to GOD... in my walk with HIM i have seen through much of the governments lies and HE has led me to the testimonies of many Christian Brothers and Sisters all over this world who cry out the Truths they are witnessing for whosoever have eyes to see and ears to hear. What is it, then I feel impressed to share with you? imho nato is an arm of the nwo and YES guilty of unspeakable crimes I also (knowing what little i know of their hypocricies and devil horns hidden behind falsely labeled 'christian' masks) would NOT qish them on my doorstep either. satan worshippers=lovers of money have gotten control of most all countries of this earth. bio-weaponized viruses are created and purposefully leashed on all mankind for their depopulation efforts and augmenting their wealth vaccines too evil almost for description whichninclude aborted babies & ANIMAL dna Plus a 'brand claiming the people vaxxed now belong to the one who created the vaccine' it is a US Law adjudicated into law by US Supreme Court in 2015. the evils which those who love money and hate G O D are evil beyond all imagination - i name just two and these are NOT the worst just know whatever you can imagine -they do worse much worse child kidnapping & xxx trafficking drug trafficking my ♡ is totally broken President Putin is very much like our President JFK. If only nato had backed away from Russia's borders as when Russia returned home from the bay of pigs...maybe this war would not have happened. All the name calling going on in all the nato countries medias (which are widely infamous for all their fake news and outright attacks on all that is good, and on their own peoples). each voice condemning Putin and pushing for war will be raised in rwpentance one day. mostly I fear the goal is global war those who gave us the virus (& their IS a patent for it) those WHO push & profit from the vaccines are endeavouring vigorously for all out war . o dear lovers of Christ our one & only Hope surely this world will be destroed by fire one day (as St. John the Revelator warns) but O please please please i pray and surely you all do also for the salvation of the lost souls JESUS came and died to save. . Psalm 2 . [1]Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? [2]The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, [3]Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. [4]He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. [5]Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. [6]Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. [7]I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. [8]Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. [9]Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. [10]Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. [11]Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. [12]Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Editor3/2/2022 9:24 am
Dionysius, FYI, autocephaly simply cannot be granted "immediately". The MP cannot take such a step without a Local Counsel--which means a Counsel consisting of representatives of all strata of the Church. That means, bishops, priests, abbots, abbesses, and laity. That would include strata from Ukraine as well. For obvious reasons, that can't happen in the near future. But that doesn't mean it can't happen at all.
Natalia3/1/2022 6:31 am
Thank you so much! really grateful for all your words. Let us "intensify their prayers ‘for the peace of the whole world’, for those who suffer, and for the conversion and salvation of the souls of all men".
Dionysius Redington2/27/2022 2:31 am
It is true that the situation is more complicated than the one-sidedly anti-Russian Western media depict: the invasion of Ukraine is an understandable outcome of recent history and a high-level response to low-level but constant NATO and Ukrainian-nationalist aggression. That it is humanly understandable, however, does not make it just and right. Met. Onuphrius has condemned the war: what more needs to be said? In my opinion, Pat. Cyril should unequivocally condemn the war, grant immediate autocephaly to the canonical Ukrainian Church (of Met. Onuphrius) without yielding to the Constantinopolitan heretics, and close the uncanonical Russian exarchate in Africa. The stakes are enormous here. The actions of Mr. Putin and his government, in addition to endangering thousands if not millions of physical lives, are making it all but impossible to convene an ecumenical council that could prevent the loss of countless souls. The sins of us Orthodox have already brought CoViD-19 to the world as a chastisement; let us repent before we bring on something worse. Holy Sts. Boris and Gleb, pray to God for us. Dionysius Redington
alla2/26/2022 10:58 pm
A very disappointing statement from the bishops, and a very disappointing reaction fron
afanassy2/26/2022 6:48 pm
JJ and Fr William - - - My impression is that the Bishops were saying there is more than one side to this tragic story; and (IMO) much of it has been historical, stemming from the collapse of the Soviet Union and betrayal of the newly forming Russian Federation by NATO and the US. There was also the Maidan Revolution sponsored/financed by the West to depose Yanukovich and split Ukraine away from Russian influence, so that NATO's nuclear missiles could be installed in Eastern Ukraine, in violation of the Reagan /Gorbachev agreement. In a very unhappy way, the poor people of Ukraine are now victims of an international struggle, unnecessarily created by the West. THAT, in summary, is the other side of the story. It's not all about "Big Bad Russia"... =======================
Fr William Bauer PhD2/25/2022 7:55 pm
JJ above speaks wisdom.
Chitwa Wilson2/25/2022 1:52 pm
I have been a deacon in Coptic orthodox in Kenya Africa, and now i am shifting to Russian Orthodox plus some people behind me, so i request you to come lend us your support to grow in true faith. I thank Fr.Ambrosios and Fr Goerge for there guidance My phone conduct is +254718607666
JJ2/25/2022 11:52 am
‘… It is not possible to agree with the extremely one-sided picture of current events portrayed by Western sources of information. Events, we know, are much more complex. Not daring to assume the role of judges, …‘ Exactly what is the point of disagreement? This should be stated with clarity - not in an indirect and vague way which leaves heaps of room for interpretation and misinterpretation
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