Led by WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, the WCC delegation met with the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations on 3 August during its visit to Ukraine, ensuring the participation of the Ukraine’s churches at the upcoming WCC assembly in Karlsruhe.
“During the Russian aggression, your initiative to visit is very important for us and the religious society of Ukraine,” said Marcos Hovhannisyan, bishop of the Ukrainian Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Church and chairman of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, as he welcomed the WCC delegation. Members of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations expressed their hope that the voice of the WCC and churches worldwide will help stop the war of aggression in Ukraine.
“We came here to make sure that there are delegates from Ukraine at the WCC assembly, so that the whole world can see you and you speak on your behalf, on behalf of people of Ukraine yourselves,” said WCC Sauca. “God is on the side of those who suffer – and just peace always wins.”
Hovhannisyan affirmed that the WCC invitation to join the upcoming assembly is very important for churches in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations represents 95% of religious communities in Ukraine, including Orthodox, Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Evangelical churches as well as Jewish and Muslim religious unions.
“We are inspired to see your work, not just representing the Ukrainian society but also having a common vision for the future together,” said Sauca. “As religious communities you have an important role in reconciliation – and reconciliation does not happen by forgetting, but by speaking the truth.”
The WCC delegation visited Ukraine on 1-5 August to meet with the representatives of local churches and state institutions to ensure the participation of the Ukraine’s churches at the upcoming WCC assembly in Karlsruhe. During the visit, Sauca was accompanied by Rev. Dr Odair Pedroso Mateus, deputy general secretary of the WCC and director of the Commission on Faith and Order; and Ivars Kupcis, WCC communication officer.
WCC delegation visits Ukraine amidst the ongoing war (WCC news release 6 August 2022)