SIGN ON STATEMENT:
As people of faith and conscience, believing in the sanctity of all life on this planet, we call for a Christmas Truce in Ukraine. In the spirit of the truce that occurred in 1914 during the First World War, we urge our government to take a leadership role in bringing the war in Ukraine to an end through supporting calls for a ceasefire and negotiated settlement, before the conflict results in a nuclear war that could devastate the world’s ecosystems and annihilate all of God’s creation.
Download the Press Release for the Christmas Truce in Ukraine here.
Background and Context:
As the war in Ukraine rages on, the toll of death and destruction continues to mount and the potential for escalation and the use of nuclear weapons grows. The direct catastrophic impact the war has already had on the people of Ukraine is still unknown but countless thousands of civilians have already died and 14 million have been displaced. The war’s impact is multiplied outside of Ukraine’s borders as rising prices for wheat, fertilizer and fuel are creating growing crises in global hunger and poverty.
Whether it’s Christians around the world preparing for Christmas or Jews awaiting the Festival of Lights holiday of Hanukkah all of the Abrahamic faiths embrace the prophetic voice of Isaiah who exhorted us to transform swords into plowshares. In this winter holiday season of peace, we ask our government’s leaders to recall another murderous conflict between nations that took place on the European continent over a century ago. In 1914, roughly 100,000 German and British soldiers along the Western Front in World War I declared an unofficial Christmas Truce and ceased hostilities for a short period.
It was a moment so shocking to our usual expectations that it continues to reverberate in our collective imaginations over 100 years later. Another Christmas Truce could save lives and pave the way for critical peace talks.
The way out of the war in Ukraine will not be a military solution. The path toward peace in Ukraine requires powers of a different sort: negotiation and imagination. As leaders of a diverse group of faith communities, we sign onto the petition below and pray that our leaders have the courage and conscience to use those powers instead.
Initial signers include:
Dr. Cornel West, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary
Reverend Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler, Senior Advisor, Fellowship of Reconciliation; Racial and economic justice advocate
Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary Emeritus, Reformed Church in America
Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, President, Sojourners
Rev. Janet Wolf, National Council of Elders
Rev. William Lamar, IV, Pastor, Metropolitan AME Church, Washington DC
Rev. Freeman Palmer, Conference Minister, Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC
Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blake, Presiding Minister, The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, National Council of Elders
Rev. Bob Roberts, Jr., Senior Global Pastor, Northwood Church, Keller TX
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
Nicholas Sooy, Director, Orthodox Peace Fellowship
Imam Mujahid Abdul Malik, President, Sound Vision Foundation
Rabbi Phyllis Berman, ALEPH Ordination Program’s Hashpa’ah Program, the Shalom Center
Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, Executive Director, Religions for Peace USA
Ariel Gold, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation USA
Rev. Michael McBride, Pastor, The Way Christian Center; Director, LIVE FREE Campaign, Faith in Action
Dr. Daisy Khan, Executive Director & Founder, Women’s Islamic Initiative for Spirituality & Equality
Rev. Terrence Moran, Director of Peace, Justice, & Ecological Integrity Office, Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth
Dr. James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute & professor of religion
Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili, Metropolitan Bishop, Peace Cathedral
ALL SIGNERS (APPROXIMATELY 1,000):