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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

A Reflection on Ukraine from United Religions Initiative

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Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We heard the deafening explosions of yesterday which brought the worldwide speculation of impending conflict to a halt… and the grim reality of the shocking and undeniable images of war in Ukraine and the surrounding areas. The quickly unfolding bloodshed and violence are jeopardizing the lives and safety of so many people.

As people of diverse religions, spiritual and philosophical expressions, and indigenous traditions from 112 countries around the world, we stand united in solidarity with collective actions toward peace and resolution to this conflict. With heavy hearts, we pray for healing for the already mounting casualties and the devastating effects of war. 

URI’s purpose is to build cultures of peace, justice, and healing. Aggressive conflict and violence are the antitheses of this very aim. We promote all options for peace and diplomacy, and support the Ukrainian people, the Russian people – their families, their children, and their communities. War hurts all people, and has destructive ramifications on nature and our environment. This impact will have lasting effects on Ukraine, Russia, and our interconnected global world. 

As we look to all the ways the URI community can come together in support of humanity and all living beings in harm’s way, we pray that light will find its way to a path toward ending this conflict swiftly.

For now, we extend our love, care, compassion, and deep concern. We share the pain and suffering with the people whose lives will be touched by these frightening and horrifying events. In our many languages, voices, colors, and communities, we are holding this part of the world closely in our hearts while we seek to understand more meaningful ways by which we can help.

As people of URI and our global community, we are united for peace, justice, and healing.

Kiran Bali MBE JP

Chairperson URI Global Council of Trustees

United Religions Initiative (URI) is a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world.

The purpose of the United Religions Initiative is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.

URI holds the prestigious distinction of being a non-governmental organization (NGO) with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and has long-standing partnerships with several other UN agencies. https://www.uri.org/

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