“We appeal to all sides in the conflict to respect the principles of international humanitarian law, including especially with regard to the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, and for the humane treatment of prisoners of war,” the statement reads.
The statement strongly affirms that war is incompatible with God’s very nature. “We urge all parties to withdraw and refrain from military action in the vicinity of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and other such locations that may risk unimaginable threats to current and future generations,” reads the text. “We join in praying for all the victims of this tragic conflict, in Ukraine, in the region and throughout the world, that their suffering may cease and that they may be consoled and restored to lives of safety and dignity, and we assure them of the love and accompaniment of the WCC global fellowship of churches.”
The statement continues: “The presence of church representatives from Ukraine and the multi-national delegation of the Russian-Orthodox Church, together with delegates and participants from WCC member churches and ecumenical partners from elsewhere in Europe and from all regions of the world, has served as a practical opportunity for that encounter.”
The statement also commits the WCC to “an intensified dialogue on the issues that divide us – a core purpose of the WCC,” the text reads. “For the issues raised by this conflict are indeed deep and fundamental, both for the ecumenical movement and for the wider world, and warrant intensive and sustained dialogue to address.”
The text calls on WCC to provide a platform for all voices for peace to be heard and amplified.
“The task of post-war recovery will be arduous and lengthy, with huge humanitarian, financial and ecological costs,” the statement reads. “Churches are called to play a key role in the healing of memories, reconciliation and diaconal care.”
The statement also urges a much greater investment by the governments of Europe and the entire international community in searching for and promoting peace, and in strengthening non-violent conflict resolution, civil conflict transformation and reconciliation processes.
“We commit ourselves to uphold our responsibility to hold one another accountable for maintaining the bond of unity in Christ,” reads the statement.
The text outlines expectations that all states – in Europe and around the world - honour the letter and spirit of their obligations under international law.
“We urge all states to provide for safe, regular and accessible pathways and opportunities for human mobility in compliance with international humanitarian and human rights obligations, and to take proper measures against the abuse of the vulnerability of migrants and refugees.”