Whoever shoots the image of God, shoots Christ himself.
On Monday, March 14, 2022, at a Press Conference held at the NCCK headquarters on the war in Ukraine, Metropolitan Ambrose of Korea made the following statement before more than fifty journalists from various Korean media:
We have been watching with great mental pain for 19 days the Russian government committing a major crime against the Ukrainian people, similar to what Hitler committed during World War II.
As Orthodox Christians we feel very ashamed because Orthodox are fighting against Orthodox citizens. As the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea, we unequivocally condemn the war against Ukraine, because this war, like any war, is against the will of the God of Love and Peace. We firmly believe that there is no greater sin than war.
That is why we call on the Russian political leadership to immediately cease hostilities against Ukraine, in order to return the wounded dove of Peace to the martyred Ukraine.
Also with great respect and Christian love we ask His Beatitude Patriarch of Moscow Cyril to publicly condemn the war and the crimes committed these days against our Orthodox Ukrainian brothers. We also ask Him to raise his voice and say with prophetic parsimony to every official: First, that the divine gift of freedom for the majority of His compatriots, that is, the Russian people, who are silenced because they oppose the war, must not be abolished; and second, it is not permissible for the people of Ukraine to be crucified for any reason because they want to live freely in their homeland.
Anyone who does not protest in any way he can, watching innocent people with children being killed, hospitals being bombed, millions of Ukrainians, including the sick and the elderly, on the road to exile, citizens living in hunger and thirst in the shelters or in the woods to be saved, he is not entitled to be called a Christian.
The participation of the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea in the fundraising campaign to help the civilian population of Ukraine is not politically motivated, but entirely Christian and humanitarian. It stems from our deep conviction that in the face of each of our fellow human beings, who are created in the image of God, and who are currently suffering horribly in Ukraine, Christ himself is suffering. Whoever shoots the image of God, that is, the human face, shoots Christ himself. That is why we feel a sacred obligation to defend the “few” (Matt. 25:40 and 45) brothers of Christ.
We pray and hope that reason, justice and love among the Russian officials will prevail, so that this fratricidal war in Ukraine will end immediately. As HAH the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew characteristically stated yesterday in His Sunday of Orthodoxy message: “The invasion and war in Ukraine must end immediately and a new opportunity for dialogue must be given.”