Witnessing the war of aggression waged by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and the consequent humanitarian crisis developing there, no Christian can remain impartial or lukewarm in the face of the suffering or remain silent when confronted with such evils as are being perpetrated. As such, we, the bishops of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America, condemn the war which is causing death and devastation affecting millions of innocent people. We particularly grieve the killing and violence committed by Orthodox Christians against other Orthodox Christians.
Orthodox Christians abhor all forms of aggression, repeating the condemnation of the holy prophets against all those who “make haste to shed innocent blood” (Is. 59:7). Joining our voice to that of other Christian leaders, who also decry the invasion of Ukraine, we call on the Russian authorities to end the hostilities. Furthermore, we exhort the international community to condemn the war against Ukraine and use all diplomatic means to achieve an expeditious resolution.
We proclaim our solidarity with the suffering Orthodox Christian brethren of Ukraine, with the entire Ukrainian people, and the civil and religious leaders who bear the responsibility of caring for their people at this time. In particular, we express our continuing support for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and the entire Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
We call the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America to join us in interceding on behalf of Ukraine, praying to our merciful God for an end to bloodshed, beseeching Him to comfort the afflicted, the displaced and wounded. We also beseech Him to bless Ukraine with peace, healing, and rebuilding. We are mindful of the hardships being borne by the people of Russia, many of whom oppose this war, and who are suffering the loss of loved ones sent to the front, economic ruin, and social damage.
The Holy Synod of Bishops affirms the letter sent by Metropolitan Tikhon to Patriarch Kirill, imploring His Holiness to do whatever possible to end the war in Ukraine and the suffering and death of countless victims.
As we celebrate this Third Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Exaltation of the Cross, which is the only weapon of peace, we beseech our flock and all people of goodwill to do whatever lies within their power to aid the suffering and war-displaced. Those to whom God has given the means: we urge you to make material contributions to assist those affected by the war, especially refugees, who now number in the millions. Finally, we remind all of the words of the Lord who tells us that, though we may have tribulation, we always find our peace in him who has overcome the world (John 16:33).
In the love of Jesus Christ, who is the Peace and Power of God,