The World Council of Churches has issued a statement denouncing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The WCC released the statement Thursday, hours after the invasion started:
The World Council of Churches denounces any and every use of deadly armed force to resolve disputes that could be resolved by dialogue. We firmly believe that dialogue – based on the principles of international law and respect for established national borders – was and is the proper path for the resolution of tensions surrounding Ukraine. We call for an immediate end to the current armed hostilities, and for the protection of all human lives and communities threatened by this violence. We urge all member churches and all people of good will around the world to join us in prayer for peace for the people of Ukraine and the region.
The Thursday statement followed a similar release Tuesday, which read in part:
We appeal urgently for an end to the dangerous geopolitical competition that has precipitated this crisis, for de-escalation and reduction of tensions, and for respect for international law and established national borders. …We plead again for consideration of the death and suffering that any armed conflict would inevitably visit on the children, women and men of Ukraine. And once again we pray that eyes of those driving the march to war may yet be opened, and that peace may yet prevail.
The Rev. Dr. Ioan Sauca, the WCC’s acting general secretary, signed both of the statements. The WCC is a fellowship of 352 member churches, and includes, “most of the world’s Orthodox churches Eastern and Oriental), as well as African Instituted, Anglican, Assyrian, Baptist, Evangelical, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Moravian, Old-Catholic, Pentecostal, Reformed, United/Uniting and Free/ Independent churches, Disciples of Christ and Friends (Quakers)” and the organization says it, “is the broadest and most inclusive among the many organized expressions of the modern ecumenical movement, a movement whose goal is Christian unity.”