The Archbishop of Canterbury has called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “monumental act of evil” as he shared his reflections on the first anniversary of the war.
“In the face of this, as Christians, we have to think deeply about what the gospel of Jesus Christ would mean in practical terms,” he wrote in the Daily Telegraph
Most Rev Justin Welby also drew comparisons to the First and Second World War and praised the work of the Ukrainian defence calling it “one of the most of heroic examples of courage and improvisation since the British at Dunkirk”.
As the war is in a state of “attrition,” Archbishop Justin urged on military planners, policymakers and leaders to create other choices “leading to sustainable peace”.
He also called for Ukraine not to be forced into a “Munich Agreement-like compromise,” a settlement agreed in 1938 by Nazi Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy which failed to prevent the Second World War.
“Provided a just peace between Russia and Ukraine can be achieved, there must be a security structure that makes another war unlikely,” he said. “Russia cannot end up like Germany after 1919; it must be able to recover and be secure without being allowed to repeat its aggression.
“The great powers must find ways, ideally through a conference, to design the conditions for long-term security, as was done in 1945. Today, it must be done for a new century, including UN reform, while the cost of conflict is fading from most European memories.”
He concluded: “At the heart of Christian faith is the vision of God who so loved the world that he sacrificed himself for it, so there may be peace and reconciliation.
“In times of peace, we dream of such things. In times of war, we must strain every sinew to bring peace with justice, and start the generational process of healing hatred and rebuilding community among nations.”