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Church News

World Council of Churches urges Orthodox leader 'to stop this war'

by Alex Collett

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is urging Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, 'to intervene and to mediate with the political leadership of Russia to stop this war.'

On day nine of Russia's invasion, shelling has continued across the country including in the port city of Mariupol in the south-east.

In a letter to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow on 2nd of March, (WCC)'s acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca asked the Patriarch to mediate, so that the war between Russia and Ukraine can be stopped.

Within the letter Dr Sauca said: "It is with great pain and with a breaking heart that I am writing to Your Holiness.

"The tragic situation of the war in Ukraine has brought tremendous suffering and loss of lives.

"Many of our brothers and sisters had to leave their homes - including the elderly, women, and children-to save their lives.

"The whole world is watching with deep concern and seeks a sign of hope for a peaceful solution."

Director of International Affairs for the (WCC) Peter Prove, spoke to Premier and said: "What we are hoping, all of us are hoping, is what I believe every right thinking person wants in this context.

"It's to find a way of bringing this conflict to the swiftest possible end, to stop the death and the destruction and the accumulation of mutual enmity, of course, on both sides. 

"Now, we are hoping that Patriarch Kirill will be able to exercise influence on the calculations of the political leadership in Moscow in order to achieve that purpose, or at least to move us in that direction."

When asked if Peter Prove thought the Patriarch in Moscow would be putting himself in a very difficult, possibly dangerous position, if he knocks on President Putin's door and says, 'stop the war', he said:

"What we are appealing to him to do, is to exercise what influence he has and he is able to apply that direction, in the direction of peace and an end to the death and destruction that we see on our news every day, every hour during this period."

Sauca said he receives letters every day from different parts of the world asking him to approach Patriarch Kirill to mediate so that the war can be stopped and the suffering ended. 

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