Call for a Christmas Truce in Ukraine
Peace In Ukraine / CODEPINK et al
(December 15, 2022) — In 1914, amid one of the most violent conflicts of human history, a remarkable moment of peace and humanity occurred during World War 1 when French, German and British soldiers crossed trenches on Christmas Eve. For several days, enemy soldiers put down their guns and mingled to become friends.
There were joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps. They played football, ate meals together and even sang Christmas carols — creating one of the most memorable images of peace in the midst of a horrific war.
The Christmas Truce of 1914 was a symbol of hope and courage, when the people of warring countries organized an armistice on their own authority and joined in spontaneous reconciliation and fraternization.
In this same spirit, we ask you to join us in urging President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and congressional representatives to support the International Peace Bureau’s call for a Christmas Truce in Ukraine. A truce — a moment of holiday peace — could pave the way for negotiations to reach a lasting security agreement to end the bloodshed once and for all.
Today, as the war in Ukraine rages, we look to this extraordinary 1914 Christmas Truce for inspiration to call for a ceasefire in Ukraine, where the toll of death, destruction and displacement continues to mount — as does the potential for escalation and use of nuclear weapons.
The war’s impact is multiplied outside of Ukraine’s borders as skyrocketing prices for wheat, fertilizer and fuel hammer Europe’s economies and exacerbate the climate crisis, global hunger and poverty.
As people who embrace the sanctity of all life on this planet, we urge President Biden and our representatives in Congress to take a leadership role in bringing the war in Ukraine to an end.
We call for a ceasefire and negotiated settlement before the conflict results in a nuclear war that devastates the world’s ecosystems and annihilates all of creation.
The way out of the war in Ukraine will not be through military power — neither side is capable of achieving its goals on the battlefield. The path toward peace in Ukraine requires powers of a different sort: negotiation and imagination. We hope that our leaders will gather the courage and conscience to exercise those powers instead.
During this holiday season, when people send messages of joy and peace, we believe that peace, reconciliation and compassion can triumph over the hatred and violence that currently dominate.
A Christmas truce is a much-needed opportunity to redouble our conviction that together, we can overcome the cycle of destruction, suffering and death. It is an opportunity to remind us that we are all human beings and that war is senseless.
Religious Leaders Call for a Christmas Truce in Ukraine
We are asking at least 100 faith-based leaders to sign on to this simple statement calling for a Christmas truce in Ukraine:
“As people of faith and conscience, believing in the sanctity of all life on this planet, we call for a Christmas Truce in Ukraine. In the spirit of the truce that occurred in 1914 during the First World War, we urge our government to take a leadership role in bringing the war in Ukraine to an end through a ceasefire and negotiated settlement, before the conflict results in a nuclear war that could devastate the world’s ecosystems and annihilate all of God’s creation.”
Please help us by passing this around to the religious leaders you know of any denomination! This is a project initiated by Fellowship of Reconciliation-USA, CODEPINK, and the National Council of Elders. They can read a more detailed explanation of the statement and add their names by signing HERE.
Initial signers include:
Philosopher and political activist, Dr. Cornel West
Reverend Jesse Jackson
Racial and economic justice advocate Reverend Graylan Scott Hagler, FOR-USA
Civil rights movement veteran Dr. Zoharah Simmons, National Council of Elders
Reverend Dorsey of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, National Council of Elders
Poverty rights advocate Reverend Janet Wolf, National Council of Elders
Rev. William Lamar, IV, Metropolitan AME Church, Washington
DC Rev. Freeman Palmer, Conference Minister, Central Atlantic Conference of the UCC
Initial endorsers of the statement include:
Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary, American Friends Service Committee
Rev. Dr. William Barber, II, President, Repairers of the Breach
Rabbi Phyllis Berman, ALEPH Ordination Program’s Hashpa’ah Program
Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blake, Presiding Minister, The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, National Council of Elders
Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, Executive Director, Religions for Peace USA
Rev. Dr. Iva E. Carruthers, General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
Marie Dennis, Senior Advisor, Catholic Nonviolence Initiative Program, Pax Christi International
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, Executive Minister & President, United Church of Christ
Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, President, Unitarian Universalist Association
Ariel Gold, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation USA
Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary Emeritus, Reformed Church in America
Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler, Senior Advisor, Fellowship of Reconciliation USA; President, Faith Strategies LLC
Rev. John Heagle, Chair, Gospel Nonviolence Working Group, Association of U.S. Catholic Priests
Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary, United Methodist Church, General Board of Church & Society
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., President & Founder, Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Valarie Kaur, Founder, The Revolutionary Love Project
Dr. Daisy Khan, Executive Director & Founder, Women’s Islamic Initiative for Spirituality & Equality
Sư Cô Thích Nữ Chân Không and Thầy Thích Chân Pháp Ấn, Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism
Rev. William Lamar, IV, Pastor, Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without-Walls; Founder, Tikkun
Rev. Michael McBride, Pastor, The Way Christian Center; Director, LIVE FREE Campaign, Faith in Action
Bridget Moix, General Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation
Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, President, Sound Vision Foundation
Brother Chan Phap Dung, Senior Teacher, Deer Park Monastery
Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, President, OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership/ Interfaith Peace Teams
Rick Santos, President & C.E.O., Church World Service
Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Civil rights movement veteran, scholar, National Council of Elders
Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili, Metropolitan Bishop, Peace Cathedral
Nicholas Sooy, Director, Orthodox Peace Fellowship/ In Communion
Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, President, Sojourners
Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Executive Director, Kairos: The Center for Religions, Rights, & Social Justice; Co-Chair, Poor People’s Campaign
Rev. Jim Wallis, Founding Director, Center on Faith and Justice, Georgetown University; Founder & ambassador, Sojourners
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Founder & Director, The Shalom Center
Dr. Cornel West, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair, Union Theological Seminary
Rev. Janet Wolf, Poverty rights advocate, National Council of Elders; Dean, Children’s Defense Fund Proctor Institute’s Freedom Seminary
Other esteemed signatories include directors & leaders of the following national/international organizations: American Muslim Voice Foundation; Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries; BPFNA~Bautistas por la Paz; Bayard Rustin Liberation Initiative; The Beatitudes Center for the Nonviolent Jesus; Bricks and Mortals; Center on Conscience & War; Center for Faith and Peacemaking; Disciples Peace Fellowship; Episcopal Peace Fellowship; InterReligious Task Force on Central America; Interfaith Peace Working Group; Islamic Circle of North America; Jewish Peace Fellowship; Lutheran Peace Fellowship; Methodist Federation for Social Action; Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice; Muslim Peace Fellowship; Muslims for Progressive Values; National Religious Campaign Against Torture; Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order; On Earth Peace; Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service; Pax Christi USA; Presbyterian Peace Fellowship; Seventh-Day Adventists/ Adventist Peace Fellowship; Shomeret Shalom Global Congregation; Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth; Sisters of the Good Shepherd; Sisters of Mercy of the Americas; Sisters of St. Dominic; Sisters of St. Francis; Tikkun Community/ Network of Spiritual Progressives; United for Peace & Justice; United Religions Initiative; Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual; World Beyond War