The Baptist World Alliance requests an immediate joint meeting of several presidents to find a “just and peaceful” solution to the Russo-Ukrainian war. The Alliance does so in a letter addressed to the Russian president Vladimir Putin, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, the French president Emmanuel Macron and the American president Joe Biden.
The letter is signed by Rev. Brown, Rev. Donaldson and Rev. P.V. Mitskevich, as can be read on the website of the Baptist community. They are the CEO of the Baptist World Alliance, the General Secretary of the European Baptist Federation and the President of the Euro-Asian Federation and Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists, respectively.
The three ministers express their grief about the war, violence and bloodshed. “We proclaim to the world our deep feeling that war as a means of permanent solution is unsustainable. We believe that any peace not based on justice and righteousness is equally dangerous.”
In their letter, they make four requests. The first one is the immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and establishing a process towards a durable peace in the region. The second one is continuous honouring and building of humanitarian corridors through which civilians can leave or be supplied with essential goods. The third request is about the negotiation of “agreements that establish mutual security, so that peaceful and free societies may flourish across the region.” The fourth and last one is avoiding harm to civilians, including over 2 million Ukrainian refugees and millions of Russians who experience the impact of the sanctions.
The authors of the letter base these requests on Bible texts, such as “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9) and “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
The letter concludes that the whole Christian world prays for the parties involved in the war, “in the hope that the vision of the prophet Isaiah will become true, as swords are transformed into ploughshares.”
The Baptist World Alliance is located in 128 countries. It represents 176,000 churches and 51 million Baptists.