Cease the War, Wage Peace
“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14).
The General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church joins the international community in condemning Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and violating international law. We call for the immediate cessation of all military hostilities in Ukraine, so the crafting of a just and peaceful resolution is what prevails.
It is with deep concern that we plead with all parties to the conflict to dig deeper into diplomatic options so even as the hostility rages, we can and must spare lives, livelihoods and precious resources from graver risk.
The United Methodist Church believes that “war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ. We insist that the first moral duty of all nations is to work together to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among nations.” (2016 United Methodist Social Principles, ¶ 165.C)
We may not immediately comprehend the realities of pain, suffering and loss that this conflict has wrought upon the peoples of Ukraine and Russia. But we can assure them that they are a people equally loved by a merciful God.
Our prayers are with all peoples in harm’s way, including civilians, children, the elderly, the disabled and displaced peoples. We pray for all the leaders and people living in fear and caught in the crossfire. We mourn the loss of all life. And we beseech support for all entities that will make every humanitarian assistance possible, including for those seeking refuge and asylum.
In the profound words of the Bible, in the Book of Deuteronomy (30:15,19) it says, “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction … Now, choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Let’s choose life.