The following Statement and Prayer on the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine has been issued by the Methodist Church
For the past year we have been horrified by the scale of the violence in Ukraine. Russia's invasion failed to depose the legitimately elected government in Ukraine. Tragically, it has been responsible for tens of thousands of deaths of Ukrainians and Russians, both civilians and military. Atrocities have been committed that will leave physical and mental scars on those living in Ukraine's war zones and no doubt on perpetrators as well. Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones, those whose lives and dreams have been destroyed, families that have been separated and all those who have sought sanctuary in another country.
Our churches have worked with the government to help shape the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Over 150,000 people have sought shelter in the UK. Our church members are well represented among the many who have provided accommodation, while many local churches have provided further support. Sadly still more people are being forced out of Ukraine today. Only an end to the conflict can provide the relief that the people of Ukraine so desperately need. Our prayers are for the people of both Ukraine and Russia, for peace and justice, and for an outcome that ensures the future security of all in the region.
Revd Graham Thompson
President of the Conference of the Methodist Church in Britain
God of peace and love, we turn to you and open our hearts again for the people of Ukraine as we mark the first anniversary of the war. We confess that we only know a little of the past and current suffering as we watch and listen to the news from the comfort of our homes. Yet, we dare to pray for the future and ask that you work among us to bring about a lasting peace for the Ukrainian people. And, as we do, we ask you to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable – even us – as we pray in the Name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.