Primates of Jerusalem, Serbia, Albania, and Alexandria issue statements calling for peace and prayer

Jerusalem, February 28, 2022

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Joining their brother primates and hierarchs, the primates of Jerusalem, Serbia, Albania, and Alexandria have issued statements on the military conflict in Ukraine, calling for peace and dialogue.

His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem issued the following statement:

With heartfelt regard, we follow the distressing crisis in Ukraine in the last days and we stand deeply concerned for the human suffering of all our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The strongest power of the Christian is prayer. With other Christian leaders around the world, we therefore call upon all Christian people to join in prayer for our world and for the people of Ukraine.

Here in Jerusalem, we raise our prayers in the place of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ that God would grant wisdom and courage to all leaders and parties concerned. May He enlighten their minds so that dialogue and unity would be sought, and lasting peace would prevail.

A news report on a meeting between His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić on Friday reads:

Every war is a tragedy, and for us it’s a painful fact that two fraternal states and two completely close fraternal peoples of the same faith, whose history and culture are inextricably intertwined, have collided. Hence, every sacrifice is a loss for everyone. The Serbian Orthodox Church prays to God, the creator of peace, to stop the use of weapons as soon as possible and to start a dialogue on overcoming the crisis.

His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Albania stated yesterday:

Deep pain and sorrow flood the souls of the people, when the dialogue for peace is interrupted and a fratricidal war begins with the monologue of the violence of the powerful and victims, as a rule, the innocent, the defenseless and the waves of refugees.

The Christian conscience condemns all forms of violence, urging everyone, to the best of their ability, to contribute to peace and reconciliation in long-suffering Ukraine and wherever they land.

The word of Christ remains our firm principle: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.

Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria also issued a statement:

It is with great sadness that we watch what is happening in Ukraine in 2022, which brings to life the horrific memories of the aftermath of World War II, and after mourning so many victims of the coronavirus, we now see before us the new victims of the paranoid war in Ukraine.

As we prepare to enter Holy and Great Lent, a period of repentance and contemplation, we see our neighbor bleeding. The saddest thing is that all this is happening between two Orthodox, fraternal states.

We have recently tasted a similar ecclesiastical attack in afflicted Africa, a continent that is undoubtedly under the spiritual jurisdiction of the ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, which has been fighting for two thousand years to preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We pray that reason may prevail and that bloodshed for the good of mankind may cease immediately, because as the modern Russian St. Sophronius of Essex says: “The greatest sin is war.”

The frightened eyes of innocent children beg us for help. We sympathize with the innocent victims of the unjust war, we sympathize with those who lost their loved ones, we sympathize with the refugees who have been forced to flee their homes, and we continue to pray for world peace and the stability of the holy Churches of God.

May the Peace of Almighty God reign over the whole world.

Statements have also been issued by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania, and the hierarchs of the Finnish Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of Washington (OCA), His Holiness Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria, the Holy Synod of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of ROCOR, His Eminence Metroplitan Vladimir of Moldova, His Eminence Metropolitan John of Dubna, and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, and His Beatitude Metropolitan Benjamin of Minsk.

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