The Interfaith gathering in Jerusalem (Avi Hayun) (Avi Hayun)
Interfaith Jerusalem

At an event outside the Russian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, Jewish, Christian, Muslim and other religious leaders spoke out against the war in Ukraine.

By United with Israel Staff

Dozens of Holy Land and Jerusalem religious leaders publicly called for peace in Ukraine.

Speakers included Rabbi David Rosen, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Sheik Hassan Abu Galion, and Muslim and Druze religious leaders, who encouraged Patriarch Kirill to use his position as head of the Russian Orthodox Church for peacemaking.

Rabbi Rasson Arousi, representing the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, said “We recite a holy call on behalf of hundreds of millions of believers around the world to stop the killing in Ukraine.” He quoted the Prophet Isaiah, “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war anymore.”

Sheikh Hassan Abu Galion of Rahat said, “All leaders must choose the path of peace. Anyone who saves one soul is if that person saved the entire world.”

This gathering followed the delivery of a letter to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, calling on him to speak with President Putin to seek peace.

The letter was signed by 150 Jerusalem and global religious leaders and clergy, including Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem emeritus Aryeh Stern, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Sri Sri Ravi Sankar, Dharma Master Hsin Dao, and Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric. At the gathering in Jerusalem, the letter was taped to the gate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The prominent religious leaders, representing the world’s major faith traditions, expressed their deep concern with the war and affirmed the key role religious leaders play in promoting peace between Russia and Ukraine.

“At a time when everything hangs in the balance, we must not assume that political and military leaders alone will be able to defuse this crisis. As Putin has put Russia on nuclear alert, human casualties mount and bombs ravage cities and nature, it is a key time for religious figures worldwide to advocate for peace,” they wrote.

“This is a moment when religious leaders should raise the banner of peace and do everything in their power to promote it,” said Rabbi Yonatan Neril, director of the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development.

The gathering took place on March 21, across from Moscow Square in Jerusalem, outside of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.