Ukraine: Christian World Communions condemn assault, call for peace, invite to prayer
“Peace must prevail,” say four global Christian communions who will host online prayer service on Ash Wednesday
(LWI) - Five Christian World Communions are strongly condemning the advance of the Russian military into Ukraine and the assault that began on the night of 24 February 2022. They call for Russian troops to be brought back to Russia and an immediate end to the conflict. “Peace must prevail,” they insist.
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), the Conference of European Churches (CEC), the Mennonite World Conference (MWC), and the World Methodist Council (WMC) are calling for prayers of peace for the people of Ukraine and the region.
They have issued an invitation to an online prayer service on Ash Wednesday, 2 March at 17.00 CET. The service will bring together Christians from Ukraine and other parts of the world, seeking peace and an end to the ongoing conflict.
“Jesus calls us to be messengers of hope who work for peace. As Christian churches we therefore call for an immediate de-escalation of this conflict, so that the lives, human rights, and dignity of people in Ukraine are protected,” said LWF General Secretary Rev. Anne Burghardt.
“This is a time for churches in Europe and globally to form a strong alliance of solidarity with people who fear the impact of war in Ukraine. This is a time to gather in prayer for people who possess the power to make decisions that will save lives and make peace possible,” said CEC General Secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen.
“As the Scriptures encourage us to turn away from evil and do good, to seek peace and pursue it (1 Peter 3:11), we consider such an unprovoked attack as evil, and strive to do all we can to stand against it—while also preparing to assist those impacted by it,” said the WCRC Collegial General Secretariat (composed of Hanns Lessing, Philip Peacock, and Phil Tanis).
“Despite what is happening in Ukraine I still believe that the international community can make a difference as we collectively work for peace in the region,” said WMC General Secretary Bishop Ivan Abrahams.
In the call to prayer for the people of Ukraine and the region, the four Christian communions note the military assault threatens the lives of Ukrainians, as well as peace throughout Europe and beyond. “The crisis is urgent and requires the attention and solidarity of the global Christian community.”
The LWF brings together 148 Lutheran churches representing over 77 million Christians across the globe. The WCRC is comprised of more than 230 Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed, United, Uniting, and Waldensian member churches representing 100 million Christians. CEC is a fellowship of 114 churches from Orthodox, Protestant and Anglican traditions from across Europe. The WMC encompasses 80 member churches on six continents. The MWC compromises Mennonite and Brethren in Christ national churches from 58 countries.
LWF has launched a call for donations to support the churches and people of Ukraine. The LWF member churches churches in the neighboring countries are already receiving people. LWF is supporting and coordinating its member churches in providing this humanitarian assistance to refugees.
LWF's is coordinating a response through its member churches in Ukraine and the neighboring countries to ensure support to Ukrainian refugees as well as their safe and dignified arrival. The work is supported by LWF's funding partners, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.