The heads of churches and religious organizations of Ukraine urge Mr. Vladimir Putin to "stop the growing fire of war."
This is stated in the appeal of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations sent to the President of the Russian Federation on February 23, 2022.
Religious figures of Ukraine emphasize in their address to Mr. Vladimir Putin:
The Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations calls on the President of Russia for a peacemaking dialogue as “the only pious way to correct mutual difficulties and contradictions” and is ready to contribute to such a dialogue as much as possible.
We publish the full text of the UCCRO appeal:
To Mr. Vladimir Putin,
the President of the Russian Federation
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.
On behalf of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations
Chairman of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations,
President of the Ukrainian Bible Society