The devastation of war in Izyum, Ukraine The devastation of war in Izyum, Ukraine  (2022.12.08 Salvatore Cernuzio- Vatican News)

US faith leaders call for a Christmas truce in Ukraine

Inspired by Pope Benedict XV's call for a Christmas ceasefire in 1914, over 1,000 petitioners are advocating for a temporary armistice and negotiations for permanent peace in Ukraine.

By Edoardo Giribaldi

“As people of faith and conscience, believing in the sanctity of all life on this planet, we call for a Christmas truce in Ukraine.” A coalition of over 1,000 faith leaders in the United States has signed a statement demanding a temporary armistice in Ukraine.

The petitioners, “representing a massive number of believers from every major tradition,” hope that a temporary cease-fire could lead to “a negotiated settlement” that would bring “the war to an end, greatly lessening the danger of nuclear war and mass, if not total, annihilation.”

1914 Christmas truce

“In the spirit of the truce that occurred in 1914 during the First World War,” the press release reads, “we urge our government to take a leadership role in bringing the war in Ukraine to an end.”

The statement refers to a similar Christmas truce that took place during World War I. On December 24, 1914, following Pope Benedict XV’s appeal for a cease fire, German and British troops, at the time fighting on the Western Front, “emerged from their trenches,” and “ventured into ‘no man’s land’ where they shared food and drinks; they sang Christmas carols and even played soccer 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.”

Pope Francis' appeal

The appeal echoes the several pleas made by Pope Francis since the beginning of the conflict. Speaking at the end of the Wednesday General Audience, the Pope expressed his concern for the children of Ukraine, “suffering so much from this war.”

“Let us think about the Ukrainian people this Christmas. They are without heating, without the main things to survive. Let us pray that the Lord may bring them peace as soon as possible.”


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22 December 2022, 11:10