Ukrainian church leaders demand for arms deliveries


Eastern Europe


Photo AFP, Dimitar Dilkoff

Several church leaders from Ukraine demanded support and arms deliveries from the West. “We do not agree with a logic of reconciliation if we have to give territories to Putin.”

The leaders were together at a CDU-affiliated event in Berlin. At the forum “Religious communities of Ukraine and Russia’s full-scale war”, they debated the war and the consequences of the conflict.

Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kyiv and All Ukraine thanked the West for humanitarian aid and asked for prayers. “But we also ask for more help through tougher sanctions and weapons.” The head of what he claims to be the largest Orthodox Church in Ukraine warned against false peace offers: “We do not agree with a logic of reconciliation if we have to give territories to Putin.” In his opinion, such logic will not lead to peace. Epiphanius also spoke out in favour of Ukraine joining the EU. According to him, the EU stands for not only a common economic area but also common values such as peace and democracy. This reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists.

Epiphanius sharply criticised the Moscow Patriarch Cyril. During the panel discussion, he spoke several times about Mr Gundjajew, calling Kyrill by his real last name. “He blesses the Russian army,” said Epiphanius. “He says that this aggression is right.” According to Epiphanius, as long as there is a structure of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, Putin will believe that he will be welcomed with flowers in Ukraine. “We see the atrocities that Russian soldiers are committing in Ukraine,” said Epiphanius. “Are these values protected by the Russian Orthodox Church?” When the head of the patriarchate blesses such atrocities, it no longer belongs to Christianity.

The Metropolitan further criticised calls for peace talks. “We deny the logic of “appeasement” when they offer to “surrender” a certain territory to Putin in exchange for the promise of peace”, Epiphanius said. “Such logic never leads to peace! The experience of the” Munich conspiracy”, when Hitler was given the Sudetenland in exchange for the promise of peace, shows that the aggressor’s appetite for victories only increases.” This reports the Religious Information Service of Ukraine.


The Roman Catholic Bishop of Kyiv-Zhytomyr, Vitalii Kryvytskyi, also called for arms deliveries. “We need weapons to defend ourselves.” According to Kryvytskyi, People will lose their lives if they cannot defend themselves. “If we say we’re cold, we get blankets,” said Kryvytskyi. “Those who are hungry get canned goods. But if bombs fall on us, we ask for weapons to be delivered to us.” Kryvytskyi further stated that “Ukraine does not currently need to call international conferences where peace will be debated again.”

Legal Counsel to the Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine Gennady Biloritsky dismissed Russian accusations that Nazis were ruling Ukraine. “Ukraine has been incredibly hospitable to Jews and remains so”, Biloritsky said. This reports the Christian German news website Kirche und leben.

Anatoly Kozachok, the first deputy bishop of the Pentecostal “Ukrainian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith,” said Putin had declared that he wanted to protect values in Ukraine. However, these were not Christian values but rather those of communism. In the regions conquered by Russia, monuments, street names and flags from Soviet times returned.



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.