On 2nd anniversary of Russia invading Ukraine, world church body reasserts 'war is incompatible' with God's nature

Photo: © Peter Kenny
Russia's flagship Black Sea missile cruiser, the Moskva sunk on April 14, 2022 after Ukraine said it was hit by missiles and stopped from causing havoc along the coast of the country Russia invaded on Feb. 24, 2022. Photographed at Sebastopol in 2016.

On the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the World Council of Churches general secretary, Rev. Jerry Pillay, has lamented the destruction of so many lives and called for an immediate end to the conflict.

"The Christian commitment to the sanctity and preservation of lives is fundamental," said Pillay. "Accordingly, we reaffirm our position that war is incompatible with God's very nature and will for humanity and against our core Christian and ecumenical principles."

The WCC head said that the worldwide economic turmoil resulting from the conflict in Ukraine has deepened the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis.

He said it has exacerbated a global food crisis, driving millions of the world's poorest and most marginalized people into acute food insecurity, and generating social and political instability in several countries.

"It has shaken the foundations of the international order that has prevailed since 1945, and the laws and institutions created to protect the people of the world from the death and destruction of war," said Pillay.

Pillay also noted the worldwide economic turmoil resulting from the conflict, "has driven much deeper divisions in the international community at a time when much greater international cooperation is urgently needed to respond to the collective global threat of climate change."

Two years after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the lack of troops and ammunition and the depth of Russia's field fortifications are forcing Kyiv to adopt a more defensive strategy, reported France24.

As it waits for more Western support, the Ukrainian army is holding out for better days.

Pillay said, "A sustainable future for the entire living planet may yet prove to be the war's greatest casualty."


Pillay called for an immediate end to the conflict.

"We demand respect for human rights and international humanitarian law – especially regarding the protection of civilians – and for all the laws and institutions created in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War to protect the people of the world from the horrors of war," he said.

"We demand full accountability for all the crimes committed against these principles."

The WCC head also stressed the principles of freedom of religion and belief.

"We pray for the restoration of our humanity and morality," he said.

"Within the ecumenical movement, we pray for a renewal of commitment to the churches' calling to be witnesses against the prevailing logic of the world – the logic of violence and imposed power – and for peace and the fullness of life which God desires for all God's people."

The U.N. Security Council met on Feb. 23.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that in the two years since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, there had been too much suffering and strains on global relations, VOA reported.

"Enough," he said.

"It is high time for peace — a just peace, based on the United Nations Charter, international law, and (UN) General Assembly resolutions."

The Russian Orthdodox Church is one of the biggest member churches of the World Council of Churches, but is a strong supporter of Russia in its war in Ukaine.

Moscow Patriarch Kirill, head of the world's largest Orthodox Christian Church whose clout transcends Russia's borders to believers in former Soviet republics and diasporas, has defended the Kremlin's right" to start the war, Al Jazeera reported on Feb 9.

Russia has "the right to stand on the side of light, on the side of God's truth", he said days after the invasion began in February 2022.

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