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World News

Archbishops join church leaders in condemning Russian attack on Ukraine

by Donna Birrell

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have joined other church leaders in condemning the Russian attack on Ukraine as "an act of great evil".

In a joint statement, Most Rev Justin Welby and Most Rev Stephen Cottrell said: 

"The horrific and unprovoked attack on Ukraine is an act of great evil.  

"Placing our trust in Jesus Christ, the author of peace, we pray for an urgent ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian forces.  

"We call for a public decision to choose the way of peace and an international conference to secure long term agreements for stability and lasting peace.

"We invite Christians to make this Sunday a day for prayer for Ukraine, Russia and for peace. 

"We also give our support to the call from Pope Francis for a global day of prayer and fasting for peace on Ash Wednesday, March 2."

The Church of Scotland is also joining with the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the Conference of European Churches and World Council of Churches to work together to collectively support the churches and people of Ukraine in seeking a peaceful solution.

Lord Wallace, moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said:

"Our prayers are with the Ukrainian people who are now under attack and in fear of their lives. 

"We call on the UK Government to join with governments across the world and together persuade all parties to agree to a ceasefire and to immediately return to the negotiating table.

"At the same time we ask the UK Government to prepare a generous humanitarian response to assist people fleeing the war. 

"As a matter of urgency, the government should prepare a plan to receive and resettle refugees from the conflict and support neighbouring countries to respond locally to the crisis.

"The Covid pandemic and the intensifying climate crisis has shown us that no catastrophe can be isolated and what affects one region affects all of us. 

"More than ever, national governments need to find a way to work together for the sake of our common humanity."

The European Evangelical Alliance has condemned all attacks upon Ukraine. It's general secretary, Thomas Bucher said:

 "We see no justification for these actions and are deeply distressed by the death, destruction, chaos and misery that will result. EEA calls upon Christians to pray for all who suffer and for those who have the power to save lives, bring humanitarian aid and protection. And let's pray for all those with the power to stop the war and to bring about long-term peace."

Dr Thomas Schirrmacher, the secretary general of the World Evangelical Alliance said:

"We are gravely concerned to yet again witness armed conflict that will inevitably lead to tragic loss of human lives, including innocent civilians who only desire to live in peace. We call for an end to the hostilities, an immediate ceasefire and respect for Ukrainian territorial integrity."

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