Church leaders mourn Russian invasion of Ukraine, call for de-escalation
Leaders of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) spoke out March 3 against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We lament that once again the desire for power, control and expansion has trumped respect for human lives, livelihoods and dignity,” the leaders said. They recognized “the right of Ukrainians to resist the assault on their homeland” and opposed “further militarization” by any side. They called for “de-escalation, … not increased belligerence”.
They also condemned the “denial of access to safety and shelter” that “Africans, Middle Easterners and others” have suffered in Ukraine since the February 24 invasion. “Preventing non-ethnic Ukrainians from crossing European countries is racist and should be named as such. It is a denial of the human rights, dignity and respect that should be accorded to all.
The full text of the statement appears here on the Churches Global Ministries shared website. Its signatories are:
- The Rev. John Dorhauergeneral minister and president of the UCC
- The Rev. Therese Hord OwensMinister General and President of the Disciples
- The Rev. Karen Georgia ThompsonUCC Assistant General Minister for Enlarged Church Ministries and Co-Executive for Global Ministries
- The Rev. Marco CableChairman of the Disciples Division of Overseas Ministries and co-executive of Global Ministries
The statement adds to a March 1 UCC appeal for humanitarian assistance, a February 25 invitation from global ministries to join the global faith community in prayer, and a February 24 call to prayer. February launched by the leaders of the UCC.
“We call on world leaders to work diligently and immediately to end this conflict,” the March 3 statement said. “We urge them to recognize and fairly apply international law to the many conflict situations around the world. In places that are witnessing similar human rights abuses, we call on world leaders to pay urgent attention to finding solutions.
United Church of Christ News