Beloved in Christ, Your Grace Bishops, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters!
Dear Ukrainian people!
We are experiencing with sorrow and pain that the war has come to our native Ukrainian land. Severe trials have befallen all of us. Fighting between the troops of the Russian Federation and the Armed Forces of Ukraine continues almost throughout Ukraine, soldiers and civilians are dying, the number of refugees is growing. Bringing nuclear weapons to a state of high combat readiness in general sharply calls into question the prospects for the further existence of mankind and the whole world. In such a difficult situation, we call on everyone to be courageous, increase prayer and unite around the defense of our Motherland.
Addressing all our defenders today, we want to testify that we honor you and pray for you, because you, sacrificially risking your life, effectively testify to how you can fulfill the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: There is no greater love than if someone he will lay down his own for his neighbors (John 15:13).
For our part, we once again confirm that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has always supported and continues to support the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We fully share the pain and suffering of our people. On these responsible days, intensified prayers are raised up in all the churches and monasteries of our Church for an end to the war and the restoration of peace in Ukraine. With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, the forces of the dioceses and monasteries provide comprehensive assistance to refugees and all those who suffered as a result of hostilities. Our temples are open around the clock for those who need protection from shelling. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is expanding its mission of helping all those in need every day.
Realizing our special spiritual responsibility, today we turn to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Your Holiness! We ask you to intensify your prayer for the long-suffering Ukrainian people, say your First Hierarchal Word on the cessation of fratricidal bloodshed on Ukrainian soil and call on the leadership of the Russian Federation to immediately stop hostilities that are already threatening to turn into a world war.
We also appeal to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Aleksandrovich Zelensky and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. On behalf of the multi-million flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we ask you to do everything possible to put an end to the sin of armed confrontation between our two fraternal peoples and start the negotiation process. This terrible war has already dealt a heavy blow to relations between the Ukrainian and Russian peoples. If the bloodshed is not stopped, the gulf between our peoples may remain forever.
Ukrainian people, brothers and sisters! We hope that common sense will prevail and this war will end soon. We ask each of you to keep peace among yourselves and not succumb to provocations. Help each other, take care of each other. It is also important not to stir up hostility among themselves. Only in unity is our strength. We pray the Lord to enlighten the rulers with the light of His grace. We believe that the philanthropic Lord will accept our prayer work and forgive us our sins. And in the near future the peace of God will once again reign in our blessed Ukrainian land!