The Archbishop of Canterbury met with leaders of the three largest churches in Ukraine during his visit to Kyiv to demonstrate his solidarity with the churches of Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion.
Together with the Anglican Bishop in Europe, the Rt Revd Dr Robert Innes, the Archbishop met with Metropolitan Epiphany and Archbishop Yevstratiy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine; His Beatitude Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church; and Metropolitan Clement of Nizhyn of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
All three groups had searing stories to tell of the suffering of their people amid the war, and of their determination to support all Ukrainian people in their struggle. During these meetings the Archbishop listened to their experiences and asked how the Church of England can continue to support them. He emphasised his continuing prayers and support for all the churches of Ukraine.
During the visit the Archbishop and Bishop Robert also met with Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders as part of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organisations. Part of this meeting had to be held in a bomb shelter following an air raid warning. The Council included representatives from the whole range of Christian denominations in Ukraine, and from the Jewish and Muslim communities. There was a palpable sense of solidarity amongst all religious groups in support of the struggle to resist the invasion.
In this season of Advent, we pray in the hope of the Prince of Peace for all communities in Ukraine.