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Appeal of the Clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church for Reconciliation and Ending the War

We, priests and deacons of the Russian Orthodox Church, each on his own behalf, appeal to all on whom the end of the fratricidal war in Ukraine depends: we call for reconciliation and an immediate ceasefire.

We make this appeal following Sunday of the Last Judgment and shortly before Forgiveness Sunday.

The Last Judgment awaits every person. Neither earthly authorities nor doctors, nor guards will protect anyone from this judgement. Concerned about the salvation of all who consider themself children of the Russian Orthodox Church, we do not want them to appear at this judgment with the heavy burden of mothers’ curses. We remind those who give murderous orders that the Blood of Christ shed by the Savior for the life of the world will be received in the sacrament of Communion not for life but for eternal torment.

We mourn the trial that our brothers and sisters in Ukraine have been undeservedly subjected to.

We remind you that the life of everyone is a priceless and unique gift of God, and therefore we wish the return of all soldiers — both Russian and Ukrainian — to their homes and families safe and sound.

We are greatly saddened thinking about the abyss that our children and grandchildren in Russia and Ukraine will have to overcome to once again become friends with each other, respect and love each other.

We respect the God-given freedom of man and believe that the people of Ukraine should make their choice themselves, not at gunpoint, without pressure from the west or the east.

In anticipation of Forgiveness Sunday, we remind that the gates of paradise are opened to anyone, even grave sinners if they ask for forgiveness from those whom they humiliated, insulted, despised, or from those who they killed or ordered to kill. There is no other way but forgiveness and mutual reconciliation.

“The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the groun. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand,” God said to Cain, who envied his younger brother. Woe to everone who realises that these words are addressed to them personally.

No non-violent call for peace and an end to the war should be forcibly suppressed and considered as a violation of the law, for such is the divine commandment: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

We call on all warring parties to dialogue — there is no other alternative to violence. Only the ability to hear the other can give hope for escaping from the abyss into which our countries were thrown in just a few days.

Let yourself and all of us enter Great Lent in the spirit of faith, hope and love.

Stop the war.

Priest Alexy Antonovsky
Hegumen Nikodim (Balyasnikov)
Priest Hildo Bos
Priest Vasily Bush
Archpriest Stefan Vaneyan
Hieromonk Jacob (Vorontsov)
Archpriest Evgeny Goryachev (veteran of the Afghan war)
Hieromonk John (Guaita)
Priest Alexy Dikarev
Priest Alexander Zanemonets
Archpriest Vladimir Zelinsky
Archpriest George Ioffe
Archpriest Andrei Kordochkin
Priest Lazar Lenzi
Archpriest Andrei Lorgus
hegumen Peter (Meshcherinov)
Archpriest Konstantin Momotov
Priest Yevgeny Moroz
Hieromonk Demetrius (Pershin)
Priest Alexander Piskunov
Archpriest Stefan Platt
Archpriest Dionisy Pozdnyaev
Archpriest George Roy
Hieromonk Theodoret (Senchukov)
Archpriest Iosif Skinner
Archpriest Dimitry Sobolevsky
Archpriest Alexander Shabanov
Deacon Valerian Dunin-Barkovsky

Priests and deacons of the Russian Orthodox Church who wish to sign the letter can write to russianpriestsforpeace@gmail.com or use the online form.