of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations regarding the social and political situation in Ukraine
The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, as one of the largest institutions of civil society of Ukraine, expresses its concern with the contemporary state of social and political life in Ukraine.
We appeal first of all to civil society of the whole people of Ukraine with a request for a recognition of the realities of the contemporary life of our state, for critical thinking, but at the same time for a common-sense perception of reality and for a good forecast of the consequences of action or inaction. Besides God's blessing, for which believers raise fervent prayers, we all now need especially a heart full of love and sober understanding for making correct decisions. Remember that our strength is in unity and hard work, each one in his place. Constant quarrels, disputes, and false hopes that somebody will come and do our work for us only weaken Ukraine.
We appeal to politicians of all political persuasions and groups and government at the highest level with words of warning against political behavior that is inappropriate to their position and especially dangerous in such a difficult time for the country. Any pursuit of political rankings and enrichment that places private interests over the common good of the people is a violation of God's law and a profoundly immoral act before a poverty-stricken and again disappointed people. With dread it must be noted that schemes of corruption that crush the state organism, and which destroyed the state institutions under the old regime, continue to exist and continue their murderous action. This is also a real threat to the very existence of an independent Ukrainian state. Therefore we call politicians to be not only persons who are concerned about rankings and the next elections but real state leaders, who are concerned for Ukraine, listen to and heed the opinion of the people, and are concerned about them and future generations, including in the long perspective.
We ask you, especially in this difficult and threatening time for Ukraine, to stop being concerned about narrowly partisan interests and private material enrichment. Political and financial rankings are so worthless as is all that is transient and fleeting in this world, because they do not bring real happiness to anybody. Only in service to the common good does the true calling of God lie for each responsible politician, the source of happiness and blessing both for himself and for the whole nation.
Remember also the position of our international partners, who persistently and persuasively urge all of us to immediate and effective reforms and primarily to the struggle with corruption which is destroying our country from the inside and is nullifying all programs of international aid.
We appeal especially to the president of Ukraine as the guarantor of the community of our state and the constitutional rights and liberties of its citizens, and also to the Ukrainian government and parliamentary forces: our people, who carry the burden of the experience and all the tragic consequences of authoritarian regimes, perceive with pain and dread any signs of the concentration of extraordinary power in a few hands. You all are called not to permit a return of such a dangerous development of events. In our opinion, only a healthy balance among all branches of government—legislative, executive, and judicial—which, in the final analysis, is provided by our current constitution and a responsible attitude of each one to his duties will be a reliable guarantee of stable democratic development of Ukraine and the implementation of broad reforms and a realistic struggle with corruption.
As an integral part of civil society, the leaders of the main churches and religious organizations of Ukraine express our readiness to meet with the president, the government, and parliamentary forces in order to present in greater detail and personally our position and opinions and those of our faithful.
May God's blessing be on all of us and on Ukraine.
Kiev, 1 March 2016
(tr. by PDS, posted 2 March 2016)
Ukrainian original posted on site of Institute of Religious Liberty, 1 March 2016
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