Hero photograph
Sunflower, national flower of Ukraine
Photo by Marty Pritchard

The Invasion of the Ukraine

Diocese of Dunedin —

A message from the primates of Aotearoa-New Zealand calling for prayer for the developing situation in the Ukraine, and a media release from leaders of four of New Zealand's main Christian denominations.

Sunflowers - national flower of Ukraine — Image by: pixabay.com

Statement on Ukraine

Across the globe people are horrified by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

In a region that learnt the devastating lessons of war last century, the pattern has the tragic possibility of repeating. It flies in the face of much of the progress in peaceful coexistence that Europe has made in recent decades.

Once again, on European soil, we see the rights and wellbeing of millions of ordinary people trampled on by an aggressive and entitled leader.

It also flies in the face of the Jesus-values of peacemaking. In this instance, those values call us to stand against violence and stand with the oppressed.

Those values call for de-escalation and peace talks.

They call for humility and kindness.

As Christians we stand in solidarity with the vast chorus of voices calling for the aggression to end and the peaceful solutions to begin.


Right Rev Hamish Galloway , Moderator , Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand

Andrew Doubleday, President, Methodist Church of New Zealand

Cardinal John A Dew Archbishop, Catholic Church Archbishop of Wellington

Don Tamihere & Archbishop Philip Richardson, New Zealand Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

Flax Cross — Image by: ACANZP

Rangimārie! Rangimārie! Ahakoa te utu! Peace! Peace! No matter what the cost!

This was Archdeacon Tiki Raumati's oft repeated korero, speaking out of his people's lived experience of the inter generation impact of naked aggression and the greed for land.

As the Russian army invades Ukraine without provocation, the world must again defend the innocent. We call on all Christians to pray for the people and leaders of Ukraine and for the people and leaders of Russia. This act of war will create suffering and destruction and will win nothing. We must pray for, and support, world leaders in responding with wisdom, compassion, and resolution for the protection of the innocent and the restoration of justice and peace.

We also encourage you to pray daily for the Ukraine and to participate with the wider church in Pope Francis’s call to make Ash Wednesday, 2 March, a day of prayer and fasting for peace.

A Prayer for Ukraine

Eternal Creator,
You have made us in your image, though we often obscure it;
You have made us stewards of the earth and guardians one of one another.

Give the people of Ukraine Your protection, strength, and assurance,
Give us the courage to support and defend our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, and
Give world leaders wisdom, compassion, and resolution in their decisions.

In this crisis, remind us again of the need to always strive for peace,
that the people of Ukraine may once again know peace and justice, and
that all your children may know the perfect freedom found in serving one another.


Prayers from around the church…

God of peace and justice,
we pray for the people of Ukraine today.
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or peace,
for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions.
Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear,
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop Stephen Cottrell

Sovereign God,
We pray for the nation of Ukraine, its leaders and people.
We pray that you would make your presence known to them at this time of strife.
We pray for their protection and for an end to the Russian invasion.
We pray for the innocent, the frightened, the dispossessed,
and those who have lost loved ones, homes and family.
We pray that you would bless the endeavours of those who work for peace
and an end to this conflict.
Have mercy, we pray, on Ukraine.
May your peace rule in the hearts and minds of all.
Continue to stir up the leaders of the world to work together for the good of all.
We pray this in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Archbishop Geoffrey Smith
Archbishop of Adelaide and Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia

Sovereign Lord,
you observe all those who dwell on earth.
Have mercy we pray on those who now suffer
the miseries of a war not of their own making.
Have compassion on the wounded and dying; comfort the broken-hearted;
confound the hatred and madness of those who make war;
guide our rulers, bring war to an end, bring peace across the world.
Unite us all under the reign of your Son, the Prince of Peace,
before whose judgement seat the rulers of the world will give account,
and in whose name we pray. Amen.

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel, Archbishop of Sydney

Loving God,

We pray for the people of Ukraine,
for all those suffering or afraid,
that you will be close to them and protect them.

We pray for world leaders,
for compassion, strength and wisdom to guide their choices.

We pray for the world, that in this moment of crisis,
we may reach out in solidarity
to our brothers and sisters in need.

May we walk in your ways
so that peace and justice
become a reality for the people of Ukraine
and for all the world.


Archbishop Eamon Martin Archbishop of Armagh, Catholic Primate of All Ireland

O Lord, God of life, as you care for all creation, give us your peace. May our security come not from weapons, but from respect. May our strength come not from violence, but from love. May our own wealth come not from money, but from sharing.

May our path be not one of ambition, but of justice. May our victory not be one of revenge, but of forgiveness. Unarmed and confident, help us to defend the dignity of all creation. Sharing today and always the bread of solidarity and peace. Amen.

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton,Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Archbishop Donald Tamihere, Te Pihopa o Aotearoa
Archbishop Philip Richardson, Senior Bishop of the New Zealand Dioceses