Nature and religious grounds of war discussed by religious scholars and religious figures in Kyiv
On April 25, 2017, Kyiv hosted a conference on “The nature of war and its religious grounds: the issue of conditions of peaceful coexistence of modern humanity.” The event was held at Ukrinform and was devoted to understanding the interaction of these phenomena. The discussion involved specialists were religious scholars, journalists, religious leaders and civil servants. NAS Ukraine scientists organized the event together with NGO “European Christian Congress” (ECC), reports RISU correspondent Dmytro Horyevoy.
The main theme, according to the organizers was to discuss the basic principles of coexistence of different religious communities in Ukraine. Thus, it was suggested to consider policy document “Platform for peaceful coexistence of mankind”, which was jointly adopted by Christians, Muslims, Jews and representatives of the scientific community at a conference in Dnipro in early April.
Also, one of the organizers, Volodymyr Averyanov, announced that ECC is set to apply to the government to hold in Kyiv the European Security Forum for separate discussion of the religious factor.
Religionist Liudmyla Fylypovich said that the time has come for theoretical analysis of interrelation between the phenomenon of war and the activities of religious organizations. “Three years ago we, as citizens of Ukraine, confronted this issue face to face. However, now we can discard emotions and begin scientific analysis,” said Ms. Liudmyla.
Researcher of Orthodoxy Oleksandr Sagan suggested that religious communities could do for peace more than they do, although it noted that very often religious differences is one of the important factors of conflict. Thus, according to statistical data, 2/3 of today's conflicts have a religious background. This does not mean that religion produces or provokes war, but the religious factor is actively used by various forces in opposition. Also, the scientist said that the church would have to actively express its official position. For example, providing theological analysis of hybrid or cyber war. Hence it follows that religious communities are trying to explain modern things with examples and characteristics that have developed in non-current conditions, therefore such explanations are often not relevant.
The analysis of current events was proposed by Sheikh of RAMU “Ummah” Said Ismagilov. He noted that over the past three years, global world has changed and moved from a state of fragile peace to the Cold War. And this war under modern conditions almost is almost never waged openly (except in Ukraine and Syria), but as a hybrid war, shrewdly and insidiously. Sheikh has noted that there are attempts to split the Muslim community inside Ukraine. Believers are presented with charges of collaboration with Christians and Jews. Sheikh Said has noted that having traced the origin of such accusations he tracked down the representatives of Russia and the occupied territories. In his opinion, it is a very cleverly planned insidious attempt to undermine and try to split the Muslim community in Ukraine and bring its representatives at variance with other religious groups.
One of the reasons of national security, but in an Orthodox context is ultra-conservatism, according to journalist Tetyana Derkach. She recalled that Ukraine planned an anti-ecumenical council in the monastery of Bancheny village located in Bukovina. Abbot of this monastery is Bishop Longuin (Zhar), who is known for irreconcilable attitude towards Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church, whom he considers liberal and ecumenist. The journalist suggested that in the context of a general trend to populism and simple solutions, such measure will be detrimental for Ukraine, because it may tempt conservative believers of other faiths. Unfortunately, the Kyiv Metropolis does not respond to these disturbances inside the Church, and therefore active lay people have to raise their voice, at least those who are concerned about the future of the Church. If the event does take place, there are at least two negative factors for Ukraine: possible centrifugal religious and social movements in Bukovyna, which borders on Romania; and use of the territory of Ukraine to destabilize inter-Orthodox relations, which could worsen the attitude of the Ecumenical Patriarch to Ukraine and the Ukrainian Church issue.
Historian Iryna Prelovska supported the colleague in her forecasts. In particular, she noted that Bancheny faces a Romanian challenge. “It seems that you are not in Ukraine, because both the language used in the church as well as goods of non-religious purposes are Romanian. In fact, there is almost nothing Ukrainian,’ adds the scientist.
This is not the first time researchers gather to discuss security issues related to the religious factor. At the beginning of this year, a conference on religious security, which informed source. This was reported by a RISU journalist.