An Open Letter to Russian Patriarch Kirill from US Christian Leaders

His Holiness Kirill

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

Russian Orthodox Church

Your Holiness,

We write you as brothers and sisters in Christ.  Some of us have worked with you in fellowship in ecumenical settings.  All of us serve in various positions of leadership and service in churches and Christian organizations.  We know well the heavy responsibilities and challenges which rest on you, and all those called by God to be shepherds and servants of God’s people.

With broken hearts, we are making an earnest plea that you use your voice and profound influence to call for an end to the hostilities and war in Ukraine and intervene with authorities in your nation to do so.  We all are witnessing the tragic and terrible loss of innocent civilian life and the grave dangers of escalation posing the deepest threats to peace in the world.  Moreover, we grieve for the ways the body of Christ is being torn asunder by warring factions.  The peace desired by our common Lord demands that this immoral  warfare end, halting the bombing, shelling, and killing, and withdrawing armed forces to their previous boundaries. 

We make this appeal with no political agenda.  Before God, we bear witness that there is no religious justification from any side for the destruction and terror the world is witnessing daily.  Our first allegiance is always to our Lord Jesus Christ.  This transcends the narrow claims of all nations and ideologies.  

We are in the season of Lent. In that Lenten spirit, we ask you to prayerfully reconsider the support you have given to this war because of the horrendous human suffering it has unleashed.

In this moment, as the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, you have the holy opportunity to play an historic role in helping to bring a cessation of senseless violence and a restoration of peace. We pray you will do so, and our prayers will accompany you.

Respectfully Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Rev. Eddy Aleman, General Secretary, Reformed Church in America

Bishop Claude Alexander, Senior Pastor of The Park Church, Baptist

Reverend Massimo Aprile, Baptist Pastor in Milano (Italy), Unione Cristiana Evangelica Battista d’Italia 

Dr. Ruth Bentley, Administrative Executive Director, National Black Evangelical Association

Rev. Dr. Timothy Tee Boddie, Senior Pastor, Mt. Zion Baptist Church Farnham, VA

Dr. Amos C Brown, Senior pastor , Third Baptist 

Bishop Mariann Budde , Bishop , Episcopal Diocese of Washington 

Rev. Dr.  Mae Elise Cannon, Executive Director, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) 

Rev. Eugene Cho, President & CEO, Bread for the World

Mr. Shane Claiborne, co-founder, Red Letter Christians

Professor David Cortright, Professor Emeritus, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

Bro. Paul Crawford, Capuchin  Province of St. Mary – JPIC Chair.  President of the Franciscan Action Network Board of Directors, Catholic

The Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church

Mr. Merwyn De Mello, Peacebuilder, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Washington, DC

Marie Dennis, Senior Advisor, Co-President (2007-2019), Pax Christi International

Rev. Julian DeShazier, Pastor, University Church

Rev. Norman Dowe, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The National Black Evangelical Association

Friend Christie Duncan-Tessmer, General Secretary, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Dr. Michele  Dunne, Executive Director , Franciscan Action Network

Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley, Board Chair , Interfaith Power & Light

Rev Dr Bob Ekblad, Executive Director, Tierra Nueva

Rev. Dr. Robert Franklin, Laney Professor in Moral Leadership, Emory University 

Rev. Rock Fremont Jr, VP Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, International Council of Community Churches

Rev. Joel Gibson, Micah Interfaith Coalition , Protestant Episcopal Church in America 

Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary Emeritus, Reformed Church in America

Ms. Susan Gunn, Director, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Rev. Dr.  David Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University

Dr. Mimi Haddad, President, CEO, CBE International

Reverend  Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director, American Baptist Home Mission Societies

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale, Senior Pastor , Ray of Hope Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. Sekinah Hamlin, Minister for Economic Justice, United Church of Christ

Rev. Dr. Richard Hamm, Former General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada

Ms. Lisa Sharon Harper, President and Founder, Freedom Road, LLC

Rev. Fred Harrell, Senior Pastor, City Church San Francisco

Rev. Dr.  Peter  Heltzel , Senior Fellow, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 

Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, President Emerita, Auburn Seminary

Dr. Obery Hendricks, Visiting Scholar, Columbia University

Rev. Mitchell Hescox, President/C.E.O., The Evangelical Environmental Network

Mrs. Shirley Hoogstra, President, CCCU – Council for Christian Colleges & Universities

Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the US and Canada

Rev. Dr. Nathan Hosler, Director, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Church of the Brethren, Church of the Brethren

Dr. Albert Y. Hsu, Editor

Ms. Marj Humphrey, Director of Mission, Maryknoll Lay Missioners

Ms. Hyepin Im, President & CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment

Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, President, Churches Uniting in Christ, Chair of the Board, National Council of Churches

Rev. Mark Judkins, Director of Finance and Administration, Christian Community Development Association

Archbishop Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar, Syriac Orthodox Church

Dr. Kelvin Kellum, General Secretary , Friends United Meeting 

Rev. Dr. Walter Kim, President, National Association of Evangelicals

Bishop Jeffrey Leath, Ecumenical Officer, African Methodist Episcopal Church

Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent Emerita, The Wesleyan Church

Rev. Carlos L. Malave, President, Latino Christian National Network

Sister Donna  Markham, OP, PhD, President & CEO, Catholic Charities USA

Rev  Michael Mata, Pastor, Church of the Nazarene 

Reverend Michael Ray Mathews, President, Alliance of Baptists

Dr.  Eli McCarthy, Professor, Georgetown University

Dr.  Walter Arthur McCray, President, National Black Evangelical Association 

Rev.  Terrance M. McKinley, Senior Pastor, Campbell AME Church, Director of Racial Justice, Sojourners

Urban Missionary Rosa Mercado, Executive Admin./Operations Associate, Christian

Mr. Noah Merrill, Yearly Meeting Secretary, New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (Quakers)

Most Rev. Anthony Mikovsky, Prime Bishop, Polish National Catholic Church

Mr. Ted Miles, Executive Director, Maryknoll Lay Missioners

Sr MariaLeonor Montiel, General Secretary, Maryknoll Sisters

Bishop Darin Moore, Presiding Prelate, Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District, AME Zion Church

Rev. Lance P.  Nadeau, MM, Superior General, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers

Sr. Genie Natividad, Vice President, Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic

Mr. David Neff, Editor (retired), Christianity Today

Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly , Presbyterian Church (USA)

Ms. Mary Novak, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

Dr Ruth Padilla DeBorst, Coordinator, INFEMIT

Rev. Dr. Glenn Palmberg, President Emeritus, Evangelical Covenant Church

Dr. Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary, United Church of Christ

Mr. Stephen Reeves, Director of Advocacy, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Bishop Dr. Raymond Rivera, Founder, Christian 

Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra, Academic Dean, Centro Latino, Fuller Theological Seminary

Mr. Rick Santos, President and CEO, Church World Service

Rev. Dr. Robert Schenck, President, The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute 

Dr. Stephen Schneck, Catholic Activist & Writer, Independent Scholar

Sr. Ann Scholz, SSND, Associate Director for Social Mission, Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Dr. Ronald Sider, Founder, Christians for Social  Action

Reverend Jane Siebert, President, The Swedenborgian Church of North America

Sister Sister Patrica A Siemen, OP, Prioress/President, Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan

Rev. Gail Song Bantum, Lead Pastor, Quest Church

Rev. Ron Stief, Executive Director, National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Bishop John Stowe, Bishop-President, Pax Christi USA

Rev. Richard Tafel, Pastor, Swedenborgian Church of North America

Ms. Heather Taylor, Managing Director, Bread for the World

Rev. Adam Taylor, President, Sojourners

Rev. John Thomas, General Minister and President (retired), United Church of Christ (USA)

Rev. Dr. Al Tizon, Professor, North Park Theological Seminary

Rev. Jim Wallis, Director, Center on Faith and Justice, Georgetown University

Pastor Colin Watson, Executive Director, Christian Reformed Church in North America

Mr. Michael Wear, Founder, Public Square Strategies

Reverend Cecilia Williams, President & CEO, Christian Community Development Association

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Co-Convener, National African American Clergy Network

Mr. Jonathan  Wilson-Hartgrove, Director, School for Conversion 

Mr. Philip Yancey, Author, Multiple Books

Sister Carol Zinn, SSJ, Executive Director, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, USA

Mr. Johnny Zokovitch, Executive Director, Pax Christi USA

Sister Elizabeth Zwareva, Congregational Leadership Team Member, Maryknoll Sisters