Massachusetts Peace Action joined Massachusetts faith leaders today in calling on President Zelinsky, President Biden, and members of Congress to support a ceasefire in the Ukraine war that could pave the way for a diplomatic settlement.
President’ Putin’s announcement of a 36-hour truce followed his meeting with Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church and a request by President Erdogan of Turkey, who has played the role of a mediator before in the Russia/Ukraine conflict.
“Christmas is a twelve-day season, and I am hearted to see this call for peace come on this, the ‘twelfth night’ of Christmas,” said Very Rev. Amy McCreath, Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Episcopal) in Boston. “We raised our voices calling for peace on Dec. 19 in Boston, along with people all over the world. Let the cry for peace be heeded!” (see photo above)
In December, 1,000 US faith leaders issued a statement in support of a Christmas truce, similar to one that arose spontaneously in the trenches of World War I when in 1914 German and British soldiers along the Western Front put down their arms to jointly celebrate Christmas.
“As a faith leader and peace activist I welcome the news of the ceasefire for Orthodox Christmas. On December 19 I was honored to be a part of an Interfaith Prayer Service in Boston where we called for peace in Ukraine, and now today I invite everyone to pray that this ceasefire might be the beginning of a true and lasting peace,” said Rev. Brian Frederick-Gray, Director of Mission Support & the Peace Intern Program of the Disciples Peace Fellowship. Rev. Frederick-Gray moderated the Dec. 19 event in Boston; view video of the event below.
“We welcome President Putin’s declaration instructing all Russian troops fighting with Ukrainian troops to observe a 36-hour ceasefire. The President has said the ceasefire would allow those ‘professing orthodoxy to attend services on Christmas Eve and on the Day of Nativity of Christ’. He added ‘a large number of worshippers live in combat areas. Given the appeal of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation to introduce a ceasefire…’,” commented Sr. Clare Carter of the Nippozan Myohoji Buddhist Order’s New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett, MA. Sr. Clare organized a Christmas Truce event in Amherst on Dec. 17; view video of the Amherst event below.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, issued an impassioned call for a Christmas Truce in Ukraine, as well as an early end to the war. View video of his Dec. 24 eve livestreamed sermon: