Orthodox Churches in Ukraine Urge to Stop Bloodshed

Kyiv, February 19, 2014

Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) urged to stop violence in Kyiv and prevent civil war.

“From the beginning of the political crisis and throughout the period of confrontation the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been repeatedly calling to end violence and find a peaceful conflict resolution. Unfortunately, the Church's voice has not been heard,” UOC Chancellor Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary said in his statement.

He stressed that the Church strongly condemns the bloodshed: “Immediately stop violence and restore dialogue! For the third month our country is on the verge of a national catastrophe. Now all the authorities and the opposition, and each one of us must take responsibility before God for his actions. Threat of civil war and economic collapse in Ukraine becomes more and more real.”

In his turn, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate Filaret urged an immediate end to violence in Ukraine.

“The Church can not lead Ukraine out of crisis instead of political, government and public figures. But we must repeat again today: immediately stop violence,” Filaret said in the statement.

Patriarch Filaret once again appealed to the President of Ukraine, opposition leaders and social activists to immediately resume negotiations.

“We need to chill “hotheads” and return to peaceful resistance, which is a productive way in the struggle between good and evil,” said the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church - Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych Sviatoslav Shevchuk.