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Ukraine: European Churches call for true dialogue for lasting peace

European Churches and Catholic Bishops have condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and are urging all religious and political authorities to engage in true dialogue and promote a lasting peace.

By Vatican News staff reporter

The Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), the organization representing the Catholic Church in 45 countries throughout Europe, and the Conference of European Churches (CEC), the fellowship of 114 churches from Orthodox, Protestant, and Anglican traditions all over Europe, have issued a joint declaration over the war in Ukraine.

The Church leaders urge world leaders and the international community to do everything possible "to end the current war that is destroying lives and causing untold suffering."

Peace at heart of Christian faith

The joint declaration came out of their annual meeting taking place in Bratislava on 21 March.

The Church leaders underscore that the heart of Christian faith is peace and reconcilation, and quoting Fratelli tutti (238), they underscore that  “Jesus never promoted violence or intolerance. He openly condemned the use of force to gain power over others.”

They stress that therefore "religion cannot be used as a means to justify this war."

They add that all religions are "united in condemning the Russian aggression, the crimes that are being committed against the people of Ukraine and the blasphemy that is the misuse of religion in this context."

Dialogue toward lasting peace

The European Church leaders urgently call on religious and political leaders to do everything possible "to engage in true dialogue and promote a lasting peace."

They express gratitude for the great work being carried out by the local and regional churches, NGOs, and goverment auhorities in caring for those fleeing the war.

The Church leaders also express their solidarity with Russians "who are courageously protesting against the invasion."

In conclusion, they note their continued prayers for the gift of peace and call on all Christians to join in these prayers, while continuing all efforts to affirm the dignity of every person, bring an end to the war and a start for reconcilation.

23 March 2022, 12:18