A man removes debris outside an orthodox church building damaged by Russian shelling in Chernihiv A man removes debris outside an orthodox church building damaged by Russian shelling in Chernihiv 

Ukraine: Religious representatives appeal for truce over religious holidays

Representatives of the religious communities in Ukraine issue an appeal to Russia to stop shellings and slow down offensive hostilities for the duration of religious holidays for Catholics, Orthodox, Jews and Muslims.

By Linda Bordoni

In its appeal published Friday, the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations notes that according to the Western church calendar, Christians celebrate Easter on April 17; according to the Eastern church calendar, on April 24. From the evening of April 15 to the evening of April 23, Jews celebrate Passover. Until the end of April, Muslims celebrate the fasting month of Ramadan.

The representatives of the main religious communities in Ukraine issued their joint appeal on Friday:

“We appeal to stop the shelling of cities and villages in Ukraine and to slow down offensive hostilities, at least for the duration of the sacred days for all three religions.”

We are convinced, the statement continues, that if there is a desire and goodwill, the Russian side, within the framework of the ongoing negotiation process and in contact with competent representatives of Ukraine, could reach agreements that would provide civilians of Ukraine the opportunity to meet and celebrate the next sacred days without shelling and risk to their lives.”

“May the Almighty God inspire with wisdom and mercy all those on whom the solution of this issue depends.”

Speaking during the Sunday Angelus last week, Pope Francis issued an appeal for an Easter truce in Ukraine, saying “Let the weapons be put down! Let the Easter truce begin.”

He called for prayers and reminded all men and women of goodwill that during Holy Week Christians prepare to celebrate the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ over sin and death, noting the victory was "over sin and death," and "not over someone and against someone else."

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16 April 2022, 13:59