"This is not just a war - this is genocide" - Council of Churches meeting with religious leaders in Rio de Janeiro

"This is not just a war - this is genocide" - Council of Churches meeting with religious leaders in Rio de Janeiro - фото 1
A delegation from the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO) held meetings with religious leaders in Rio de Janeiro on May 22 as part of an advocacy visit to Brazil.

This was reported by the UCCRO website.

In the morning, Ukrainian clergymen participated in the "Churches Pray for Justice and Peace" event held at the Presbyterian Evangelical Cathedral. Representatives of various Christian churches in Rio de Janeiro took part in the prayer service.

Ukrainian religious leaders informed Brazilian clergy about the horrific war being waged by Russia against Ukraine, the incredible suffering of the Ukrainian people, including children and civilians, the heroism of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, the spiritual and humanitarian work of Ukrainian churches during the war, crimes committed by Russian soldiers against humanity, and the persecution of churches, arrests, torture, and killings of Ukrainian priests in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. Personal stories of Ukrainian pastors Oleksandr Pavlenko and Oleksandr Babiychuk, who survived captivity and the murders of their children with God's help, were particularly moving.
Pastor Ivan Rusyn, Rector of the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary, spoke on behalf of the delegation:

"Here we testify that Russia not only seizes and destroys cities — it seeks to destroy the Ukrainian people, their freedom, and identity. This is not just a war — it is genocide, which also includes the forced deportation of Ukrainian children and civilians to Russia. Taking this opportunity, we urge Brazilian religious leaders and government representatives to continue caring for Ukrainian refugees, supporting Ukraine in its just struggle for freedom, and its quest to establish a just peace, particularly through Brazil's participation in the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland."

The event at the Presbyterian church concluded with a joint prayer by representatives of Brazilian and Ukrainian churches for Ukraine and the establishment of a just peace on Ukrainian soil.

As a memento of this meeting, the UCCRO delegation presented the Presbyterian Church in Rio de Janeiro with a child's drawing and a doll symbolizing a Ukrainian woman embracing her child.

At the invitation of Cardinal Orani João Tempesta of the local Roman Catholic Archdiocese, members of the Council of Churches delegation met with the cardinal and his auxiliary bishops. During the meeting, Bishop Oleksandr Yazlovetsky and the head of the IRS Board, Oleksandr Zayets, informed Cardinal Orani João Tempesta about the pain and suffering of the Ukrainian people due to Russian aggression, the bombing and missile attacks on Ukrainian cities, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, and crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine's religious sphere.

After the meeting, UCCRO representatives gave an interview to the Archdiocese's television channel.

To conclude the program in Rio de Janeiro, the UCCRO delegation visited the Christ the Redeemer statue and flew to the capital of Brazil, Brasília, on the evening of May 22.

On May 21, the Council of Churches delegation met with the Vice-Governor of Paraná State, Darci Piana. In Curitiba, the Ukrainians held several meetings with government representatives and religious leaders from various churches and spoke at the Paraná State Assembly.

'This is not just a war - this is genocide' - Council of Churches meeting with religious leaders in Rio de Janeiro - фото 134780


As a reminder, as part of their advocacy visit to Brazil, the Council of Churches delegation previously visited and held meetings in São Paulo on May 20.

The UCCRO delegation's visit to Brazil is supported by the Brazilian Bible Society.