Ukrainian churches beg for a no-fly zone


Eastern Europe


A woman holds up a sign calling for a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine during a protest against Russia’s military invasion of the country in Israel’s Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv. beeld AFP, Jack Guez

The Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organisations calls on European leaders to introduce a no-fly zone over Ukrainian territory or provide the Ukrainian army with modern air defence systems and fighter jets.

“There is nothing more valuable than human life”, the Ukrainian Council of Churches states. Therefore, it urges world leaders to implement measures that enable Ukraine to protect its civilians from the regular Russian bombing and missile strikes. That is reported by Religious Information Service of Ukraine.

The Council wrote these words in an official appeal to NATO, the OSCE and the EU member states. The Council points out that millions of civilians face a “humanitarian catastrophe”. That would be caused by “Russia’s military invasion and missile strikes on residential areas, food warehouses, hospitals, maternity hospitals, schools and other critical infrastructure facilities in Ukrainian cities.”

In addition, the Council addresses the “leadership of the Russian Federation, international organisations, church hierarchs and religious figures of the peoples of Russia.” The Council argues that they should take “urgent measures to organise humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from Ukrainian cities to safe places of their own choice.” It also pleads for the “immediate exchange of prisoners of war between Russia and Ukraine.”

According to the Council, it would be best if civilian volunteers and ministers of Churches and religious organisations carried out the evacuation to avoid provocations. “Even in times of the greatest upheavals, wars and disputes, we must not forget about humanity and mercy. Each of us must do everything possible to preserve human life and establish peace through negotiations.”



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