AUCCRO to facilitate release of hostages held captive by DPR/LPR
The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations will contact interchurch associations and humanitarian institutions with a request to assist in the release of hostages. This decision was taken by the AUCCRO during the discussion of this issue with Vasyl Hrytsak, Chief of the Security Service of Ukraine, with the participation of mothers and wives of hostages who have been held by the so-called "Donetsk People’s Republic" and "Luhansk People’s Republic" for more than three years the territory of the East of Ukraine beyond the government’s control, the Institute of Religious Freedom reports
The meeting was held on October 12 at the National Academy of Security Service of Ukraine in Kyiv. The participants discussed ways to assist the AUCCRO in the release of hostages, as well as possible practical measures - both joint measures and the ones to the best of abilities of each denomination.
The SBU Chief called on representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches to assist in the process of release of hostages. “We must use every opportunity to draw attention to this problem and find ways to solve it. To have common sense, and our captors have returned home,” Vasyl Hrytsak said.
Members of the Council of Churches have unanimously supported the proposal and in the near future will file joint appeals to inter-church associations and international organizations involved in the release of hostages. Sheikh Ahmed Tamim, chairing the AUCCRO, said that on Wednesday the Secretariat of the Council would be convened to work on this issue. Religious figures also emphasized the exceptional power of prayer that can change the situation. The AUCCRO members discussed the idea of a joint all-Ukrainian prayer for the release of hostages held in captivity in uncontrolled territories in Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
According to the SBU data, among the hostages of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics there are 152 Ukrainian citizens, while 404 more persons are missing. In addition, dozens of Ukrainian citizens are illegally detained in Russia. The participants of the meeting also discussed the issues of spiritual, moral and patriotic education of young defenders of Ukraine, in particular, the cadets of the National Academy of the SBU. Vasyl Hrytsak has stressed that at present it is important to reject everything that divides Ukrainian society, and to make efforts instead for the sake of Ukraine's unity and development.
“The future of our country in the unity of the Ukrainian people, regardless of religion, nationality, language, etc. It is important for us to unite Ukrainian society for the sake of the future of our country,” the head of the SBU appealed to the Ukrainian religious leaders.