Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organisations’ Emergency address

We have received alarming information about the possibility of an aerial attack on one of the most famous symbols of Ukraine, a spiritual sanctuary – Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv.

Due to obvious reasons, we cannot verify the information ourselves. However, we see the barbaric shellings of residential areas in Ukrainian cities by Russian forces.  During the Second World War, Soviet saboteurs blew up another sanctuary – the Dormition Cathedral of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. It is not impossible to think that the perverted mind of the aggressor is capable of another similar crime.

It is also absolutely possible that Russian missiles will hit the Saint Sophia Cathedral due to technical defects in weapon systems. Every day those missiles fly in the direction of Kyiv, and any one of them can, even if not deliberately, but because of defects or mistakes, hit world-famous sanctuaries.

This is why we address the political leadership of Russia with a demand to cease missile strikes immediately!

We address every representative of the international community to promptly use all possible means of influencing the Russian leadership and force it to completely stop the criminal shellings of Ukrainian cities, Kyiv in particular.

Once again, we strongly condemn the Russian military aggression against Ukraine and demand its immediate cessation.

Kyiv, 1 March 2022

Source: Institute for Religious Freedom

About Organization:

The Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO) was established in 1996 as an interdenominational institution, aiming to unite the efforts of various denominations to focus on the spiritual revival of Ukraine, coordination of interconfessional dialogue in Ukraine and abroad, participation in a legislative process on church-state issues, and the implementation of comprehensive charitable actions.

The Council of Churches operates on the basis of equality and equity of all members, respecting internal guidelines and traditions of all present religious organizations in Ukraine, operating within the law of Ukraine. The UCCRO is independent of Ukrainian government, political parties, and other non-governmental organizations.

As of June 2021, the UCCRO includes 15 churches and religious organizations and 1 interchurch organization: including Orthodox, Greek and Roman Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical churches as well as Jewish and Muslim religious unions. Thus, the Council of Churches represents more than 90% of all religious organizations in Ukraine.