The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC), a non-profit organization which advocates for Orthodox Christians worldwide, issued a statement condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The statement came prior to the invasion of Ukraine and was the first response by an Orthodox Christian organization.
“We strongly condemn the actions being taken by the Russian government in Ukraine and urge calm and the protection of the holy cathedrals, historic monasteries, and churches throughout Ukraine,” the committee wrote in a statement.
“Ukrainians and Russians are brothers and sisters in Christ,” the statement continued. “And no government should pit them against each other in a state of war.”
The committee said it mourns the “needless deaths” of the already 14,000 killed in Eastern Ukraine and that it stands with the country’s people and their right to sovereignty.
“We must not let war and the exigencies of politics interfere with the life of the church in Ukraine,” the statement read. “OPAC stands with all people of faith in Ukraine and prays for the safety of her holy spaces and her people.
OPAC was established to provide public advocacy for the global Orthodox Christian Church, and to promote, defend and champion Christian communities worldwide facing persecution, exclusion and prejudice.
The organization is committed to “defending sacred space, whether it be physical, intellectual, moral or spiritual; to speak for the voiceless, to listen to the unheard, and to manifest the righteous causes of Christian faithful everywhere.”
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