Ukraine: Lutheran churches across the world call for Peace and Support
Global solidarity with those affected by the war
(LWI) – Lutheran church leaders across the world have issued calls for a just peace in Ukraine and an end to the Russian invasion. In statements and messages, they ask for solidarity with the people of Ukraine and support for refugees who have left their homes in search of safety. It is now estimated that more than 500.000 refugees have fled to neighboring countries. Here, we present a selection of those voices calling for an immediate end to the conflict and solidarity with all those affected by the crisis
Poland shares a border with Ukraine and has been receiving refugees since last week. “There is no alternative to peace,” said the Consistory of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland in a statement, adding that Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine is unjustified. “War is hostility, hatred, and an attack on what constitutes the gift of life.” Therefore, “we join in prayer and appeals for peace with all people of goodwill, regardless of religion or denomination. We pray for the faithful of our sister Church in Ukraine, for Ukrainians fleeing terror and those who live next to us in Poland, worrying about their loved ones.”
In Germany, Friedrich Kramer, the Leading Bishop of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany and Peace Commissioner of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), called for an immediate halt to military operations and for every effort to be made to resume talks. “War is against God’s will. And war must not become a means of politics,” he said.
Kramer also called on Christians to pray for peace: “Amid our helplessness in the face of war, let us bring our worries, fears, and needs before God, let us ask him for peace and an end to military violence.”
The Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Elizabeth Eaton, joined an Interfaith Call to Peace for Ukraine. “All parties and the international community must renew efforts to de-escalate this threat to international peace and security.”
“We call on all those involved – whether governments, movements or individuals – to repent of aggression and violence,” the religious leaders continue, “and turn instead to the way of peace through dialogue.” They also call upon “the faithful people of our congregations and communities to pray for wisdom, peace, and justice to prevail in Ukraine.”
In a message of solidarity, leaders of the Lutheran Church in Peru express the hope that “the cries of children, adults and the elderly, who did not want this war," are heard and that the thinking of political leaders is reoriented “away from war to peaceful solutions.” Rev. Pedro Bullón, Pastor President, and Ana Laura Torres, church secretary, write “Help humanity find other ways than weapons to solve conflicts.”
The Ecumenical Council of Finland, chaired by Tapio Luoma, Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, issued a statement calling on leaders to “do everything in their power for peace and reconciliation” so that “people will not have to live in a climate of fear, and human rights will be respected.”
In Ukraine itself, the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ukraine has called for a just peace for Ukraine. “We ask our brothers and sisters abroad for diplomatic and informational support for Ukraine, as well as to provide our peaceful citizens with all kinds of humanitarian aid. And we also ask you to join in prayer for a just peace for Ukraine!”
By LWF/A. Weyermüller
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.