Statement by the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on the war in Ukraine

1029
Epifaniy of Kyiv

Dear brothers and sisters!

Despite the long, sincere, and persistent efforts of Ukraine and the entire international community, there has been an unprovoked, insidious, cynical attack by Russia and Belarus on Ukraine.

Our common mission is to repel the enemy, to protect our homeland, our future, and the future of the new generations from the tyranny that the attacker seeks to bring with his bayonets.

The truth is on our side. Therefore, the enemy, with the help of God and with the support of the whole civilized world, will be defeated.

Our task now is to unite, to withstand the first blow, not to panic. We believe in God’s providence and the victory of truth. We trust our Armed Forces, our defenders. We pray for all those who are in the front line of the fight against the attacker.

It is extremely important not to succumb to possible internal challenges, to maintain order, to carry out the orders of the state and military authorities of Ukraine.

Where possible, I call on the clergy and the faithful to regularly offer their prayers for Ukraine, for victory, for our soldiers. I bless you to pray with the Akathist Hymn for the intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos and with other similar prayers.

I call on the international community, all the religious leaders of the world, to support Ukraine, to force Russia and Belarus to stop the attack immediately. I ask all people of goodwill to do this.

Those who have started and are waging an aggressive war against Ukraine should know that according to God’s law and human laws, they are murderers and criminals. And for their crime, they will speak before God and before humanity, without escaping condemnation and punishment.

Dear brothers and sisters!

As Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, I am with you, performing my duties. As the events unfold, I will keep you informed.

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today·[…] The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14: 13-14).

The Ukrainians are a peaceful people, but strong in spirit and faith. We believe that the violence and weapons that are turned illegally against us today will turn into the wrath of God and a sword against the attacker. For all criminal intentions are known to God, as it is written, “Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us.” (Is. 8:10). May the words of the Savior be fulfilled to the instigators of war and to the invaders: “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matt. 26:52).

With prayer on our lips, with love for God, for Ukraine, for those around us, we fight against evil – and we will see victory.

I invoke God’s blessing on the Ukrainian state, on the soldiers defending Ukraine, and on all our people!

May the Great God, the One, save Ukraine for us!

† Epifaniy

Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine

February 24, 2022