Hundreds of experts have signed a declaration denouncing religious ideology that is driving the Russian President's invasion of Ukraine.
Eastern Orthodox Christian scholars from around the world have supported a statement to express their sheer shock and horror at the suffering in Ukraine and the weaponization of Christianity in Russia.
The declaration, which has been organised by Dr Brandon Gallaher from the University of Exeter and Dr Pantelis Kalaitzidis, from Volos Academy, and is now available in over 10 languages.
It has been signed by over a 1,000 people so far.
Dr Brandon Gallaher tells Premier: "The religious ideology is so wicked, that where there is some sort of pretence that this is an act of love by invading another country.
"It distorts the gospel, it twists it, it makes it into something which is an absolute contradiction of love, which demands that you serve not only the brother, but the enemy, the one who disagrees with you.
"Christians are called to be peacemakers, not warmongers, to stand up for justice and to condemn injustice.
"I think, it varies widely in all the different Christian churches, but particularly in Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Christian churches there's a lot of talk like 'let's pray for peace.'
"But often, what people will do is, it's almost as if they put their fingers in their ears and call to God and the Lord wants us to have all of our senses open, and to use our feet, in combination with those other senses.
"He wants us to be not only those who pray for peace but he says blessed are those who are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the Kingdom of God.
"So the Kingdom of God is when we, underwritten by God's grace, work, as it were in synergy with him to make peace."
The Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated several times that his wish is for Russia and Ukraine (together with Belarus and other Eastern European states) to form a single 'Russian world' with a common language (Russian), political centre (Moscow), spiritual centre (Kyiv), church administration (the Russian Orthodox Church), all united under one leader (Putin).
The declaration is designed to raise awareness and protest the Russian Orthodox Church continually repeating Kremlin propaganda about the invasion of Ukraine as a 'special military operation'.
Dr Brandon has encouraged Christians to share and sign the declaration which you can find here:- https://publicorthodoxy.org/2022/03/13/a-declaration-on-the-russian-world-russkii-mir-teaching/