Kiev, March 1, 2022
The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church issued a statement yesterday, calling on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow to do everything possible to bring an end to the war in Ukraine.
The Synod also once again affirms its support for Ukrainian state sovereignty and territorial integrity, and assures the faithful that churches and monasteries will remain open to help all those in need.
The Synodal appeal follows on the statement of the Ukrainian primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine from the first day of the Russian military operation, in which he called upon President Putin to stop the war.
Beloved in Christ Reverend Vladykas, Fathers, brothers and sisters!
Dear Ukrainian people!
It is sorrowful and painful for us that war has come to our native Ukrainian land. Severe trials have befallen all of us. Military activities between the troops of the Russian Federation and the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue on nearly the entire territory of Ukraine, soldiers and civilians are dying, and the number of refugees is growing. Bringing nuclear weapons to a state of high combat readiness in general sharply calls into question the prospects for the further existence of mankind and the whole world. In such a difficult situation, we call on everyone to be courageous, to strengthen your prayer, and to unite around the defense of our Motherland.
Addressing all our defenders today, we want to testify that we honor you and pray for you, because you, sacrificially risking your life, powerfully testify to how it’s possible to fulfill the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Jn. 15:13).
For our part, we once again confirm that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has always supported and continues to support the sovereignty of the state and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We fully share the pain and suffering of our people. In these critical days, intensified prayers are offered up in all the churches and monasteries of our Church for an end to the war and the restoration of peace in Ukraine. With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, our dioceses and monasteries are providing comprehensive assistance to refugees and all those who have suffered from the hostilities. Our churches are open around the clock for those who need protection from shelling. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is expanding its mission to help all those in need every day.
Aware of our special spiritual responsibility, we turn today to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Your Holiness! We ask you to intensify your prayer for the much-suffering Ukrainian people, to speak your primatial word on the cessation of fratricidal bloodshed on Ukrainian land, and to call on the leadership of the Russian Federation to immediately stop the military actions that are already threatening to turn into a world war.
We also appeal to the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Alexandrovich Zelensky, and the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. On behalf of the multi-million flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we ask you to do everything possible to put an end to the sin of armed confrontation between our two fraternal peoples and start the negotiation process. This terrible war has already dealt a heavy blow to relations between the Ukrainian and Russian peoples. If the bloodshed isn’t stopped, the chasm between our peoples could last forever.
Ukrainian people, brothers and sisters! We hope that common sense will prevail and this war will end soon. We ask each of you to maintain peace among yourselves and not to succumb to provocations. Help one another, take care of one another. It’s also important not to stir up hostility among one another. Our strength is only in unity. We ask the Lord to enlighten our rulers with the light of His grace. We believe that the Lord Who loves mankind will accept our prayers and forgive us our sins. And in the near future the peace of God will once again reign in our blessed Ukrainian land!