Statement by HWPL Solidarity of Religions’ Peace Committee on the Russia-Ukraine War
: Unified Voice by Religious Leaders to Urge for the End of Russia-Ukraine War & for Peace
It has already been a year and two months since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 last year causing a war to break out. Despite the world’s desire for the war to end as soon as possible, the war is being prolonged causing many concerns to arise.
HWPL has been providing material and emotional support to those affected by the Russia-Ukraine war. There was a conference held for peace between Russia and Ukraine, a statement issued to urge for peace, peace letters sent to Russia’s President Putin to urge for the war to end, and volunteer work and sponsor activities for the Ukrainian refugees.
In addition, religious leaders attending the HWPL World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Office have consistently held several large and small prayer meetings since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine War with hopes to end the war and restore peace. Although they have different religions, they participated in prayer meetings with their members and prayed earnestly for peace between Russia and Ukraine while respecting each other’s prayer culture.
This opportunity showed how everyone’s heart for peace is the same, transcending doctrines and cultures of each religion, and the boundaries of the continent and the country. Therefore, all religious leaders from the HWPL Solidarity of Religions’ Peace Committee joined forces to write a statement calling for an end to the war between Russia and Ukraine.
The statement encompasses the urge for the complete end of the Russia-Ukraine war and hostilities between the two countries, and the tragic heart about the innocent lives being sacrificed. It also includes the concern of mass destruction and co-destruction caused by the prolonged war, and hopes for peace negotiations through the mediation of the international society, prompt resolution of problems, and the restoration of peace.
Religious leaders of the HWPL Solidarity of Religions’ Peace Committee who wrote and signed the statement include Elias Chacour the Archbishop Emeritus of Melkite Catholic Church in Israel, Vong Teph the Great Supreme Patriarch of Supreme Patriarch’s Cabinet in Cambodia, Homi Burjor Dhalla the President of World Zarathushti Cultural Foundation in India, Phra Brahmapundit the President of the International Council for the Day of Vesak in Thailand, Mohammad Al Yaqoobi the Grand Ayatollah of Office of the Religious Reference Sheikh Mohammad Al Yaqoobi, and Dae Bong the Executive Chief of Korean Buddhism Jogyejong Conference in Korea.
President Homi Burjor Dhalla said, “The war itself is definitely a violation of human rights,” actively expressing his desire to stop the war and a heart to aid and serve the victims.
Korean Monk Dae Bong revealed his regret after hearing how the Russia-Ukraine War is affecting their people, destroying the people’s daily lives, and how many innocent lives are being sacrificed. He urged to transcend religion and cooperate by saying, “Buddha and Jesus said to achieve peace. HWPL is working to end war and we should transcend religion and cooperate with this work.”
Religious leaders who are currently attending the HWPL World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Office joined the Peace Letter Campaign for peace in Russia and Ukraine held by the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) to mark the 7th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW). The urge to end the Russia-Ukraine War and achieve peace will continue.