IOTA Board of Directors’ Statement on the War in Ukraine

Ukrainian soldier carrying a baby near a bridge destroyed by Russian bombs. March 5, 2022. Credit: Timothy Fadek, CNN.

The war in Ukraine has brought about an unprecedented crisis for the people of Ukraine and indeed for the world. As scholars of religion in general, and Orthodox Christianity in particular, the IOTA Board of Directors affirms that there is no religious sanction for unprovoked war. We decry this unprovoked aggression of the Putin regime against the Ukrainian state and Ukrainian people. This aggression is also a war on memory, with the indiscriminate bombing destroying religious and cultural monuments. We offer our support to everyone affected by this hostile action, praying that God will grant protection to the people of Ukraine, the refugees, and everyone affected through family and friends, and that peace and freedom will soon prevail in Ukraine.

Some of our IOTA colleagues remain in Ukraine to provide spiritual and physical support at risk to their own lives, others are facilitating the exit of refugees, and yet others provide support from a distance through facilitating relief and aid. Some even in Russia are protesting through marches and signing of declarations and letters, including some leaders of the Orthodox Church. We appreciate our Orthodox brothers and sisters who have offered such support and spoken out against this aggression, sometimes at risk to their own lives. We have noted the many scholarly blog posts, articles, and materials that have been published by IOTA members and others pointing out the barbarous actions of the Putin regime and the sinfully complicit reaction of the Moscow Patriarchate.

We call upon the leaders of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches to condemn unanimously this fratricidal war.

IOTA asks for the continued support of the membership for our Ukrainian colleagues and all affected by this war most of all through prayer, but also through financial support.  Many relief efforts for Ukraine and refugees have been established; International Orthodox Christian Charities is a major outlet for such support, should IOTA members wish to donate.