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Communiqué of the Round table of churches and religious organizations of Ukraine and Russia

12.09.2014, 09:58

We, the participants of the Round Table, heads and representatives of churches and religious organizations of Ukraine and Russia, Christians, Muslims and Jews, as the result of our common meeting in Oslo on September 9-11th, 2014, express our deep gratitude to the Norwegian Bible Society, and to all other organizations who have supported this work, for their cooperation in organizing this meeting, for their hospitality, exceptional attention and good will.

We state the following:

We are deeply sorrowful and we pray for all who have suffered as the result of the conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, both among civilians and military personnel.
We call on all believers to continue to pray for peace in Ukraine and, as much as possible, to cooperate in establishing peace.

Even though we may have both common views and differences of opinion regarding the causes, events and consequences of today's crisis, we aim through dialogue to achieve mutual understanding, realizing that our goal is to witness to the truth and to promote the achievement of peace.

We welcome and support the efforts of both of our countries and the international community directed toward termination of the bloodshed and establishment of peace in Ukraine according to principles of international relationships.

We support humanitarian activity directed toward the relief of the suffering of the population of the Donbas region and refugees from the area. It is important that humanitarian aid is provided in accordance to international standards.

We appeal to all participants of the conflict not to allow, under any circumstances, actions that would lead to humiliation of human dignity, use of torture, kidnapping (including those for the sake of ransom) and looting.

As religious leaders we want to pay special attention to the need to ensure the freedom of religion in the war zone. Any violence committed toward clergy and lay people, religious buildings and houses of prayer of any denomination existing in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, are not permissible.

We evaluate our meeting very positively, and we think that it is necessary to continue to develop in-depth dialogue between representatives of religious communities of Russia and Ukraine, especially with the goal of overcoming negative consequences of the present situation both inside Ukraine and in the relationship between our countries.

We understand that this Communiqué does not encompass all issues that were discussed during the meeting, neither all the problems that need to be resolved. Therefore, we are willing to continue our dialogue for the sake of achieving mutual understanding and strengthening of brotherly relationship between our nations.

We thank the Almighty for His blessing of our meeting and we trust His will! Amen.
Oslo, September 11th, 2014  
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