For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders, and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6, NRSVue
From the start of the unprovoked Russian invasion, the National Council of Churches has condemned the war in Ukraine. We have supported the Ukrainian people and the defense of their homeland, even as we have prayed for peace throughout the region. With these prayers in our hearts, and with hope that it will spare lives that would otherwise be lost over the next two days, we support the proposed Christmas truce.
Many Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7, including Russian and Ukrainian Christians. Other eastern Christians celebrate on December 25, along with western Christians. While the two celebrations reflect calendrical differences, their deeper meaning is the same: that on this day, the Prince of Peace was born. It would be more than fitting for the fighting to cease during this time of solemn celebration.
The NCC is fully aware that the proposal of a truce by Russian President Putin may be guided by disingenuous intentions. For this reason, as the fighting may briefly cease, we urge Ukrainian President Zelensky to accept this truce, even as his military intelligence resources continue monitoring Russian troop and weapons movements in anticipation of the post-truce continuation of the conflict.
We are nearing the one-year anniversary of the start of this war. We continue to pray for its end.