Mar. 17, 2022

WCC appalled by escalating impact on civilians of conflict in Ukraine

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A customs officer helps carry a child across the platform at Záhony train station in northeastern Hungary, where Ukrainian refugees arrive daily after the Russian invasion in Ukraine on 24 February started. More than 200,000 people have crossed the border from Ukraine into Hungary, seeking refuge from war and an increasingly desperate humanitarian situation. 

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The World Council of Churches is appalled by the escalating impact of the conflict in Ukraine on civilians – the women, men and children of Ukraine – and by what appears to be increasingly indiscriminate attacks,” Sauca said. The airstrike on the Mariupol Hospital No.3 on 9 March, attacks affecting other hospitals, schools, kindergartens and residential areas, and the rising toll of civilian deaths and injuries all indicate that international humanitarian law is being disregarded.”

Sauca cited deeply disturbing reports of the use of cluster munitions, including in populated areas, and of area bombardment of towns and villages. The WCC denounces all such violations of international humanitarian law, particularly concerning the protection of civilians, which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” he said. Both as a matter of international law and of fundamental moral principles, we appeal for an immediate end to such indiscriminate attacks, for respect for international humanitarian principles and the God-given human dignity and rights of every human being, and for a ceasefire and negotiations to end this tragic conflict.”

Read the full statement of Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, WCC acting general secretary on Ukraine

Patriarch Kirill responds to WCC acting general secretary’s letter urging voice for peace (WCC news release, 10 March 2022)

WCC acting general secretary to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow: “raise up your voice so that the war can be stopped” (WCC press release, 2 March 2022)

WCC urges President Putin to stop war, restore peace to Ukraine (WCC press release of 25 February 2022)

WCC statement: WCC urges to stop this war, and to restore peace to the people and nation of Ukraine (25 February 2022)

In Ukraine, “such a war has no excuse, neither from God, nor from people” (WCC press release, 25 February 2022)

WCC calls for an immediate end to the current armed hostilities (WCC statement 24 February 2022)