Christians are being asked to remember the people of Ukraine in their prayers over the festive season.
In a joint statement, the presidents of Churches Together in England said that Ukrainians were facing a “terrible winter” because of the “unjust” Russian invasion.
They urged Christians to “stand in prayerful solidarity” with the people and churches of Ukraine and also remember the many displaced by the war.
“At Christmastime, Christians have a special reason to pray for those caught up in violence and driven from their homes by conflict,” they said.
“Our Saviour’s family were themselves refugees in Egypt, led by the Spirit to escape Herod’s persecution, cut off from their home and community, and no doubt travelling in great fear.
“As Presidents of Churches Together in England, we call to mind the suffering of the people of Ukraine this terrible winter as the unjust Russian invasion continues.
“We urge Christians everywhere to continue to stand in prayerful solidarity with the people and churches of Ukraine and to support them in their hour of need. We also hold in prayer all those displaced and suffering the effects of war and oppression.
“As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and his love, justice and peace, we wish the people of Ukraine – and all people – a chance to celebrate in peace the coming of our Lord into this world of need.”
The CTE presidents are the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby; the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols; the Moderator of the Free Churches group, Rev Canon Helen Cameron; the Archbishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archbishop Nikitas; and the National Overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy UK, Bishop Tedroy Powell.