Thinking Anglicans

Anglicans respond to the crisis in Ukraine

Anglican responses to the Ukrainian crisis include the following.

The archbishops of the Church of England issued a Pastoral letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, together with A Prayer for Ukraine, and urged that Churches prepare for National Day of Prayer for Ukraine. Ely Cathedral provided a translation into Ukrainian.
The Archbishop of York also spoke about Ukraine in a debate in the House of Lords.

The Scottish Episcopal Church issued Primus on Ukraine crisis: “Let us pray today for peace”.

The Church in Wales issued Ukraine – A statement from the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John

The Church of Ireland has published Prayers in a time of war in Ukraine.

The Diocese in Europe has a chaplaincy in Kyiv and several in Russia, and has issued this invitation Prayers Across Europe for Peace in Ukraine (includes Youtube link):

All are invited to join together for
Prayers Across Europe for Peace in Ukraine

Tuesday 1st March
1800gmt / 1900cet / 2000eet (Kyiv) / 2100gmt+3 (Moscow)

Led by: Bishop Robert Innes
With
Rev’d Canon Malcolm Rogers, Chaplain of St Andrew’s, Moscow and Area Dean of Russia and Ukraine and Representatives of Christ Church, Kyiv

Also there is Bishop Robert Prays for Ukraine (for Chaplaincy Service use) which includes a video link.

Earlier, the CofE published ‘Please pray for peace for Ukraine’: the Church of England congregation which meets in Kyiv.

There is much discussion about the religious aspects of the dispute. Commenters include:

Church Times reports:

Church of England ditches shares in Russian firms

‘A repeat of Cain’s sin’: Orthodox leaders condemn Russian attack on Ukraine

Ukraine invasion is ‘a call to action’, Cottrell tells Lords

Ukraine invasion: Church leaders and charities react with horror and dismay

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
28 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Froghole
Froghole
2 months ago

Archbishop Cottrell remarked in the Lords a few days’ ago that “we must use all our diplomatic muscle and energy, stringent economic sanctions, and focused political will to force Russia to step back from this aggression, withdraw its troops and silence the guns, not least because effective sanctions will mean many innocent Russians suffer as well. Our actions must be swift and cohesive if they are to be decisive“. To “force” Russia?! I am remined of the famous and possibly apocryphal remarks attributed to Stalin at Teheran or Yalta and directed, variously, to Churchill, Patrick Hurley or, in 1934, to… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

Since writing Turkey has invoked the Montreux Convention with respect to the Straits, but will close them to only ‘some’ Russian vessels. It remains to be seen what this means in practice. Obviously, Erdogan is hedging his bets, which is a fairly underwhelming endorsement of Western policy by a supposed member of NATO and ‘friend’ of Ukraine.

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

To me, the leadup to, and beginning of, WWI comes to mind, and we all know how that came out for the European countries involved.

Last edited 2 months ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
2 months ago

I realize this is a site devoted to discussing the religious, specifically CofE or Anglican, aspects of British or world events, but: We have enough religious strife and discord on this little planet without Bishop Baines adding to it. Anyone who has done any reading or research knows that President Putin didn’t need any encouragement from Russian Orthodox leaders to invade Ukraine, although he’ll be glad to use them for cover. President Putin gladly jumped in heart and soul, and he did it for entirely secular reasons: President Putin considers the breakup of the former USSR to be the greatest… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
2 months ago

Thanks Simon, but it’s behind a registration wall I choose not to follow.
I get the gist of the argument, and Russian Exceptionalism, Russian Manifest Destiny may indeed also be at play, but I think those are also tools for President Putin to bolster and solidify Russian popular opinion. Us against them, we must smash through the forces encircling us who want to destroy us, our enemies must know Russia is invincible, etc.
And the inevitable

Бог на нашей стороне!

God is on our side!

Last edited 2 months ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
2 months ago

Many people in the western third of the country (and some beyond) are Uniates, and adhere to denominations like the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church. Many in the central and eastern sections are Russian Orthodox, and this is part of the problem which afflicts the country. In Putin’s eyes, Ukraine was the spawn of Brest-Litovsk (there was a separate treaty between the nascent Ukrainian People’s Republic, which was not Bolshevik, and the central powers in February 1918, so it was not quite the same settlement as that brokered between Trotsky and Kulhmann/Czernin). Although the Ukrainian SSR of 1922 affirmed the boundaries… Read more »

Bob
Bob
2 months ago

In light of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia may I simply suggest four responses for Christians which I have come across in Christian Today. First, we need to be aware. In many ways this is a wake-up call for the church. We have followed too closely the naive philosophy of the world that there is nothing so seriously wrong with human beings that science and prosperity will not cure. This appalling invasion of Ukraine demonstrates the sad biblical truth that human beings are inclined to evil and that only the grace of God in Christ can truly bring peace.… Read more »

David Robinson
David Robinson
Reply to  Bob
2 months ago

Forgive me, but “pray against”…?

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  David Robinson
2 months ago

I can think of a good many psalms that fall into that category! And since we pray through the entire psalter several times a year in the daily office, I do a fair bit of ‘praying against.’

Susannah Clark
2 months ago

Personally, in pursuit of rapprochement and long-term peace, I believe that Vladimir Putin’s concerns about military encroachment on his borders need to be calmly and rationally recognised and addressed. Historically, NATO has been too belligerent and confrontational. I believe in the link between freedom, human rights, and the right of national self-determination… indeed I worked with the European Liaison Group in the 1970s, championing just that… but at the same time I believe that Russia has a right to feel safe, and historically there are good reasons why Russia should be sensitive about the defence of its country. Russia may… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Susannah Clark
2 months ago

Historically, the problem with “buffer states” is that they only work as a buffer in one direction. Demilitarize the nations you list and watch them become puppets of Moscow–especially all the former Soviet republics.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Susannah Clark
2 months ago

Precisely. NATO constantly harps on about being a ‘defensive alliance’, but it has functioned as a tourniquet. What sort of alliance can call itself defensive when it existed solely to contain Russia? Instead, it functioned (and functions) as a passive/aggressive pact. It was effectively redundant in 1991, but had to reinvent itself after 9/11 in order to justify its existence and, above all, its budgets. Good that you mentioned Turkey. Eisenhower installed nukes in Turkey in 1959. The Soviets took that on the chin. However, when they put nukes on Cuba in 1962 they were suddenly the ‘aggressor’. A one-sided… Read more »

Gerald Beauchamp
Gerald Beauchamp
Reply to  Susannah Clark
2 months ago

When I retired from stipendiary ministry in 2020, I came to live in Estonia. After centuries of Russification, Estonia fought a war of independence after WW1. It was a sovereign state until 1939. It then fell under soviet, then nazi and then soviet control again until 1991. Having regained its independence, Estonia chose to join the EU and Nato. Neither institutions are perfect but being part of them is preferable to what has gone before. No one has been imprisoned or killed for their political or other beliefs here for the past 30 years. The other countries on Susannah’s list… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Gerald Beauchamp
2 months ago

Gerald, my wife is Latvian and grew up in the USSR. She tells a rather different narrative. Following the fall of the Soviet Empire, she witnessed services being hollowed out, gangs and kleptocrats stepping in, and establishing political influence, and CIA-championed promotion of corporatism. On the religious front, US conservative evangelical Christians moved in. She reports her childhood as idyllic, health services being available free of charge, and a high emphasis on education. This from a Latvian, where prejudice against Russians was common. Now I come from a very different direction, as a product of a different Empire, trained to… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Susannah Clark
2 months ago

Many thanks for this. Affection for the USSR within Latvia might depend upon nationality, at least to some extent: in 1990 a third of the Latvian population was Great Russian, and prior to EU accession an often irredentist ‘fifth column’ of this size was seen by many Latvian policymakers as an existential threat to the republic, far more so than the proportionately smaller Great Russian populations in Estonia or Lithuania. The Russian population has since fallen to about a quarter of the total, but my understanding is that the anxiety remains acute. Latvians with longer memories might not only recall… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

Whatever happens in Ukraine, I suspect that with resultant inflation and eyewatering rises in the cost of food and fuel, I shall soon – and I am entirely serious – be shivering in a gloomy hovel with, if I’m lucky, one meal a day. I am 71, so the future does not belong to me, but the prospect for my “children” is truly grim, and that for the bulk of the world’s population catastrophic. As Froghole says, the poor and the young will pay – indeed are paying. What of the future of the CofE? Will hardship drive people to… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

My wife is Latvian Latvian, as opposed to Russian Latvian. Another interesting factor is demographics. If life has been so shiny for Latvians since 1989, how come its population has declined by 20% with so many people leaving the country to live and work elsewhere, especially the young? My wife was brought up in a household that was more sympathetic to Germany in WWII than to Russia. Her grandfather joined the Waffen SS (though later switched to the Red Army!). Russia pursued a policy in Latvia a bit akin to China’s policy in Xinjiang: namely, move in their own ethnicities.… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Susannah Clark
Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Susannah Clark
2 months ago

Indeed, Susannah. Many thanks indeed for that. The fall of communism simply permitted a lot of spivs, chancers, looters and parasites to extract rents from the rest. Almost the whole policymaking elite on both sides of the Atlantic fell under the spell of the ‘end of history’, their critical faculties largely impaired, and their strategic sense atrophying: for example, by indulging China in the hope for market access they affirmed Lenin’s dictum that the “capitalist is so stupid that he will sell the rope with which he is to be hanged”. In Chile (which was actually an economic disaster zone… Read more »

Savi Hensman
Savi Hensman
Reply to  Susannah Clark
2 months ago

I am no fan of capitalism, Susannah, let alone the neoliberal variety, nor of US imperialism. But the notion that Russia should dominate its neighbours was one which left-wingers in that country were seeking to tackle over a century ago. And sadly those attitudes are now brutally evident in that section of the Russian ruling class which backs Putin (pretences of socialism having been mainly abandoned, while attempts by ordinary people to resist authoritarianism have been stamped on). Ensuring Russian security is, I believe, an excuse. I opposed the Vietnam War as a child, was a steward on the huge… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Savi Hensman
2 months ago

Thanks Savi, please be assured that I too utterly condemn the invasion of Ukraine. Like you, I was equally hostile to the invasion of Iraq, setting up a local Stop the War group in our town. And I will have passed you along the way, because I was on that huge march with our group. What we are watching is utterly pitiful, and the courage of ordinary Ukrainians is tear-wrenching. I also weep for all the young Russian squaddies who have been killed or captured. Poor boys, far from home, who are expendable cannon fodder for a brutal and obsessed… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Susannah Clark
Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Susannah Clark
2 months ago

On the whole, other apes behave better.

Bruce Bryant-Scott
Bruce Bryant-Scott
2 months ago

On Monday the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University, New York City, hosted this panel discussion which goes into the details of how religion and state are involved in Ukraine and in Russia. It is far more informed and nuanced than any of the commentators above, and have studied the topic for years, and so I encourage you all to have a look. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neM0L1NFShU

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
2 months ago

It was a very good piece with Roger Bolton; pragmatic. Realpolitik. Putin believes, aided and abetted by the Russian Orthodox Church, that Russia and Ukraine belong together. He’s not remotely threatened by Ukraine (at least certainly not whilst it is neither a member of the EU or NATO), but sees an opportunity to turn the clock back while the feeble West looks on, although he has massively underestimated the scale and impact of the economic attack on Russia. Talk of buffer zones is naïve. What the Baltic states need to hear from the US, EU and UK is that they/we… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Anthony Archer
God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
2 months ago

What are these so-called nation/ sovereign states? Froghole and others refer to boundaries decided/ agreed/ accepted. Treaty ‘obligations’? First war in Europe since ww2- what happened in the Balkans then? Cyprus?- it’s in the EU, without Northern Cyprus (or is that northern Cyprus- like the north of Ireland?) It’s hard to ‘get it right’, be aware of such differences. Even the Archbishop of York referred at 7 mins to 7 on the Today Programme to folk seeking asylum in Moldavia- I imagine he meant Moldova, which left the USSR in 1991 and joined UN in 1992- 30 years ago? Or… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  God 'elp us all
2 months ago

Transnistria is in Moldova, and was an ASSR, but it has functioned as a separate state since 1991, repudiating the authority of Chisniau (Great Russians are about a third of the population, but Russian is spoken by a majority as their first language). I strongly suspect that if Putin succeeds in Ukraine, Moldova will be next on the menu, because the status of Transnistria is broadly analogous to Lunhansk and Donetsk. Since Moldova is the greater part of pre-war Bessarabia, and since Bessarabia was part of Romania from 1918-40, I suspect that any Russian military intervention in Moldova would be… Read more »

28
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x