Ukrainian Orthodox bishops in US: Violence Must Stop Immediately
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA is asking the government of Ukraine to stop assault of Ukrainian people and to begin peaceful democratic negotiations. Metropolitan Antony and bishop Daniel issued statement on recent events in Ukraine
Dear Brothers and Sister in the Lord!
The political situation in Ukraine is critical. In the city of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, armed forcesmake every attempt to captured Maydan by force, using grenades and other explosive weapons. Dozens of individuals are dead and hundreds of injured from both sides. In the cities of Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil and Lviv people have seized city halls and demand that police and armed forces of the region join opposition.
In Kyiv, opposition is asking the president to remove the violence of “berkuts” and resume peaceful negotiations. The president is still silent but blood shedding continues to escalate.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA is asking the government of Ukraine to stop assault of Ukrainian people and to begin peaceful democratic negotiations.
We solemnly remind that the way to resolve conflict questions must be that of diplomacy and dialogue. What is needed is courage to go beyond the surface of the conflict and to consider others in their deepest dignity, so that unity will prevail over conflict and it will be possible to build communion amid disagreement. The political demagoguery and brutality and abuse must cease immediately.
We share the concern of lawmakers and citizens for the safety of Ukrainian protestors and also of police and military personnel in these times of great uncertainty and danger.
In this regard, the dialogue must prevail and become a positive sign of peace, and we express our hope that both - the government officials and leaders of Ukrainian opposition will resolve, with the support of the international community, to take courageous decisions aimed at finding a just and lasting solution to a conflict which urgently needs to end.
Remember, the country's democratic future will depend on dialogue and the ability to listen to voice of Ukrainian citizens. It is essential that logic and calm prevail. No physical force will ever succeed in eliminating the free will and the voice of the citizens! All the leaders and citizens of the Ukrainian nation must, as Saint Paul reminds us, clothe themselves in “heartfelt mercy, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.” (Col. 3:12)
With prayers in Christ,
Metropolitan of the UOC of the USA and Locum Tenens of the UOC in Diaspora
Bishop and President of Consistory of the UOC of the USA