Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke by phone early Monday with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual head of around 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.
“Thank you for the warm conversation, Your All-Holiness #Bartholomew. Your words are like hands that hold us up in this difficult time. Ukrainians feel the spiritual support and strength of your prayers. We hope for the soonest peace,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter after the phone call.
Bartholomew I, the head of Istanbul’s Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and the spiritual leader of the world’s Eastern Orthodox Christians, released a statement earlier calling for an end to the war with Russia and any acts of violence in Ukraine.
“Indeed, a tragic humanitarian catastrophe has been unfolding in Ukraine for the last 24 hours. A war which, like any war, is an abominable and reprehensible situation. It is the domination of irrationality over reason, hatred over love, darkness over light, death over life.
“We call, and from this position, another church to end the war now! To immediately stop any act of violence, anything that spreads pain and death. Let reason prevail, love for fellow human beings, reconciliation and solidarity, the light of the Risen Christ, the gift of life,” he said in a speech Sunday after the Divine Liturgy.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine entered its fourth day after Moscow launched an attack on Kyiv last Thursday.