Nearly 1,000 faith leaders representing every major tradition in the United States have called for a Christmas truce in Ukraine.
.The leaders from across the spectrum of faith communities have signed the letter with the belief that a temporary ceasefire offers an opportunity for moral clarity that could be the first step towards a negotiated peace. They hope to meet the Biden administration to ask them to push for a negotiated settlement that brings the war to an end.
Initiated by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, USA, the National Council of Elders, CODEPINK and the Peace in Ukraine Coalition, the Christmas truce for Ukraine, is inspired by the Christmas truce of 1914, in which 100,000 German and British soldiers ceased fire and participated in a brief and spontaneous peace along the Western Front.
Emerging from their trenches, soldiers ventured into the “no man’s land” where they shared food and drink, they sang Christmas carols and even played football together. It was a potent example of how the human spirit can be a powerful force that transcends hate and division in the promotion of peace.
The statement reads:
“As people of faith and conscience, believing in the sanctity of all life on this planet, we call for a Christmas Truce in Ukraine. In the spirit of the truce that occurred in 1914 during the First World War, we urge our government to take a leadership role in bringing the war in Ukraine to an end through supporting calls for a ceasefire and negotiated settlement, before the conflict results in a nuclear war that could devastate the world’s ecosystems and annihilate all of God’s creation.”
Zoharah Simmons from the National Council of Elders said: “Whether it’s Christians around the world preparing for Christmas or Jews getting ready to celebrate the commemoration of the miracle of Hanukkah, all of the Abrahamic faiths embrace the prophetic voice of Isaiah who exhorted us to transform swords into plow-shares.
“As we enter this winter holiday filled with prayers for peace and liberation, we are praying and acting for the same kind of miracle that over a century ago compelled the soldiers of WWI to put down their weapons and celebrate peace.”