Primate of UOC: Our Church supports all stop-to-war initiatives of power

Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry. Photo: UOC

The Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine, made a statement regarding the peacekeeping process in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church fully shares and supports the peaceful initiatives of the Ukrainian authorities aimed at overcoming bloodshed and finding ways to peacefully resolve the situation in Donbass. This is said in the Statement of the Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine, dated August 1, 2020, regarding the peacekeeping process in Ukraine, which was published on the website of the Information and Educational Department of the UOC.

The UOJ provides the full text of the Statement of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

“Full and comprehensive ceasefire has been going on in Ukraine for six days now. This is a new and decisive step towards resolving the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and establishing the long-awaited peace.

Throughout its history, from the times of Kievan Rus to the present day, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has always called for and effectively contributed to the cause of peace and reconciliation. The Church does this because this is the Commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God’ (Matt. 5: 9). And in modern conditions, when our Ukrainian state is going through difficult times, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, sharing the pain and grief of Her flock, constantly prays that earthly peace and the peace of God will reign in Ukraine, which 'transcends all understanding' (Phil. 4: 7) ... The prayers are offered in a special way during the days of the ceasefire in Donbass, which began on the eve of the great day for Ukraine – the Day of the Baptism of Rus.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has repeatedly proclaimed its unchanging position of peaceful resolution of conflicts in numerous addresses, statements and letters. Since the beginning of hostilities in eastern Ukraine, the Council of Bishops, the Holy Synod, the Primate of the Church on behalf of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church appealed to the leadership of the state, to the Ukrainian and world community, to all people of goodwill to make every effort to stop the bloodshed in the Ukrainian land and establish a peaceful life. Our Church has called and continues to call on people who are on both sides of the military conflict to remember that we are all children of One God, and the Lord created us not for enmity or murder, but for a life of love for God and for each other.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church expresses the desire for the advent of actual peace in our state not only in prayers and homilies, but also confirms it with real deeds. From the first days of the armed conflict to the present day, the clergy and laity of the UOC have been providing assistance to all victims of the hostilities, servicemen and civilians, supporting family members of the victims, addressing the needs of internally displaced persons who have abandoned their homes and left the zone of armed confrontation. With the assistance of the UOC, captured Ukrainian servicemen and volunteers were released from the uncontrolled territories of Ukraine. These and many other deeds bear testimony to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church doing everything possible to bring peace to our land.

Despite the attempts of some forces to add political rhetoric to church life, to impose this or that political position on the Church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church does not interfere in political processes, since She has a different mission. At the same time, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church fully shares and supports the peaceful initiatives of the Ukrainian authorities aimed at overcoming the bloodshed and finding ways to peacefully resolve the situation in Donbass.

The flock of our Church is located both in the controlled and uncontrolled territories of Ukraine. The clergy, monastics and laity that are based in the uncontrolled territories of Donbass are also ready to assist the negotiation process and help restore the desired and long-awaited peace, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine within internationally recognized borders.

The voice of the Church invariably resounds at all levels of society, proclaiming that any conflicts in earthly life have a peaceful solution, and whoever seeks this way will definitely find it. We ask the Lord to grant to everyone, whoever it concerns, wisdom to find this path and move confidently along this path.

We exhort everyone to pray for an end to the war, for reconciliation, for the establishment of peace and order in Ukraine!"

As the UOJ reported, on the Day of the Baptism of Rus, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry said that the UOC prays to God and calls on people to get reconciled and not fight with one another.

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