Appeal from Patriarch Filaret to Yanukovych and Protesters: Society on Verge of Civil War
Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patrairchate (UOC-KP) January 21, 2014, published a statement on the current situation in Ukraine entitled “Remember Your Personal Responsibility.”
The UOC-KP patriarch called the current crisis the worst in the time since Ukraine gained its independence in 1991.
“In two months Ukraine is not close to overcoming the crisis, but on the contrary the conflict has only exacerbated. The first reason for this is the lack of a genuine dialogue between the sides of the conflict and the lack of concrete steps for the peaceful resolution of problems that have arisen. Instead of a dialogue, violence is escalating... More people are starting to think that methods of peaceful, non-violent resistance are ineffective ... Society is on the verge of civil war. Therefore, the church urges the president as head of state and the opposition to initiate direct, and most importantly fruitful, negotiations to get out of the crisis,” reads the statement by the head of the UOC-KP.
Patriarch Filaret appeals to:
– The protesters and armed government representatives, as well as those who give them orders: “Each of you will be responsible before God for your words and actions, for bloodshed and injury. No one can escape from this responsibility, no one will be freed!”
– Viktor Yanukovych: by law and the position that you occupy you have the most power and authority in the country, so the measure of your accountability is the highest. I urge you to choose a blessed peacekeeping path, not the path of force!
– To all believers: Pray for Ukraine, for the reconciliation of the warring sides, for overcoming strife.