Ukrainian churches condemn “Russkiy mir” ideology

January 15,2024 663
Ukrainian churches condemn “Russkiy mir” ideology

Leaders of Ukrainian churches have condemned the “Russkiy mir” ideology [literally “Russian World,” the idea that Russian culture completely dominates all other civilizations]. The decision was made during a meeting of heads and authorized representatives of Christian churches in Ukraine, as reported by the Institute of Religious Freedom (IRF).

The meeting was attended by the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine, the All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christian-Baptists, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church, the Ukrainian Evangelical Church, and the Ukrainian Lutheran Church.

It is well known that the ideological basis of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Russian war crimes, and the genocide of the Ukrainian people is the chauvinistic doctrine of the “Russian world” which is implemented, in practice, in the form of a dictatorship. By analogy with fascism, this can be called “rashism,” the IRF wrote.

Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev and the Russian Orthodox Church have been, and remain, one of the main creators and propagandists of the “Russian World” ideology, which assumes the exclusivity of Russian civilization and its separation from, and hostile opposition to, others, the meeting participants emphasized.

This ideology today is a challenge to the preaching of the Gospel in the modern world and destroys the credibility of the Christian testimony regardless of denominations,” stated the leaders of Ukrainian churches. 

The Ukrainian clergy, in their statement, endorsed the appeal of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations in their appeal to the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, and other international interfaith institutions to consider bringing responsibility to the Russian Orthodox Church and other Russian religious unions that strongly support the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a threat to Christian traditions of all kinds, as well as to other religious traditions (Judaism, Islam, etc.). Emphasizing the “fraternal origin of Ukrainians and Russians who make up the Holy Rus,” blaming the “evil West” for the military actions, and directing religious communities to pray for the victory of Russian aggressors and invaders, the top leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church and a number of Russian Protestant unions demonstrate not a desire for Christian unity and peace but actually approve and encourage hostility and hatred toward the Ukrainian people and the entire free world,” the leaders of Ukrainian churches said. 

The church leaders also discussed issues related to international cooperation in resisting Russian aggression against Ukraine and enhancing dialogue and collaboration between the churches and civil society institutions in Ukraine.

Photo: IRF

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