In an appeal to their compatriots ministers of evangelical churches in Russia have called for repentance in the war against Ukraine. Many Evangelicals signed the appeal. Find the complete appeal below.
Appeal to compatriots
“Sometimes I will say of any nation or kingdom that I will destroy it; but if that nation turns from its evil deeds, I will postpone the evil that I have thought to do to it” (Jer.18:7-8).
Our army is engaged in full-scale hostilities in another country, dropping bombs and missiles on the cities of our neighbour Ukraine. As religious people, we assess what is happening as the grave sin of fratricide – the sin of Cain, who raised his hand against his brother Abel.
No political interest or cause can justify the death of innocent people. Old men, women and children die. Military personnel on both sides are killed, cities and infrastructure are destroyed. In addition to military targets, shells and bombs destroy hospitals, civilian buildings and homes. Numerous people have become refugees and war zones are on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.
In addition to the bloodshed, the invasion of sovereign Ukraine infringes on the freedom of self-determination of its citizens. Hate is being sown between our peoples, which will create a chasm of alienation and enmity for generations to come. War is destroying not only Ukraine, but also Russia – its people, its economy, its morality, its future.
Holy Scripture urges us to “keep our hands off evil and seek the ways of peace” and warns that “he who sows evil will reap it”. If we really want to rely on spiritual values, it is crucial that we heed the words of Jesus Christ: “Put your sword in its sheath, for he who takes the sword by the sword shall also perish. He also said, “Judgment is not swiftly brought to bear upon corrupt deeds; therefore the heart of the sons of men dread not to do evil. But the judgment of God is unjust and unavoidable.
Today is the moment when each of us must call things by their proper names. While we still have a chance to escape punishment from above and prevent the collapse of our country. We need to repent for what we have done, first to God, and then to the people of Ukraine. We need to reject lies and hatred. We call on the authorities of our country to stop this senseless bloodshed!