Faith Leaders: Ukraine

A joint statement by Faith Leaders on a diplomatic solution to Ukraine conflict, published by National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), 7th March 2022

History shows us that, sooner or later, a negotiation silences the weapons.

Sooner or later wars cease. People stop killing other people .

The best thing we can do for the people of Ukraine and Russia is to encourage this through the United Nations, with other nations of goodwill.

The time is now. We see the suffering. We see the distress across the planet.

We know where this leads – the further wars go the faster is the deterioration in moral behavior and the greater the number of deaths, the greater the destroyed environments and the increased number of refugees .

There is a phrase – “the epiphany of the human face”.

The living face; the face of the dead .

It is time. We have seen the faces of the living, now dead.

We know the traumatic and persistent effects of past wars.

And there are already millions of refugees without a new place to call home.

We know the pressure on Australia’s refugee intake , as this conflict adds demand whilst ,as one instance .UNICEF predicts the death by starvation( and related causes)of 1 million children under 5 in Afghanistan during 2022!

The political energy must now be invested in international diplomacy.

This is the urgent request of faith leaders.

Our faiths are global. They cross national boundaries.We have connections and friendships across these boundaries .

At the heart of each of our global faiths is an ethic of compassion.

As a matter of compassion and with a unifying consciousness, we urge further Australian political and diplomatic leadership now.

A statement prepared by the Convenors of ‘Justice for Refugees’ and the initiators with others of #SetThemFree.
* Bishop Philip Huggins, Director of Centre for Ecumenical Studies, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture; Convenor,Anglican Church Working Group on Refugee Issues.
* Imam Alaa Elzokm, Imam of Heidelberg Mosque.
* Rabbi Shamir Caplam,Beit Aharon Synagogue.