The prime minister shared a pre-recorded video on Twitter in which he gave special mention to those affected by Russia’s invasion (Picture: Boris Johnson/Twitter
The prime minister shared a pre-recorded video on Twitter in which he addressed those celebrating, giving special mention to those affected by Russia’s invasion which began on February 24.
He wished ‘all Christians around the world the very best for Easter’, which ‘tells us that there is light beyond the darkness, that beyond the suffering lies redemption.’
Mr Johnson paused from speaking English to reference a Psalm, saying in Ukrainian: ‘Be strong and have courage in your heart, you all who trust in the Lord.’
He paid tribute to ‘the Christians of Ukraine, whether they’re marking Easter today, or its orthodox equivalent later this month, for whom Christ’s message of hope, the triumph of life over death and good over evil, will resonate this year, perhaps more than any other’.
The war in Ukraine was also referenced by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his Easter sermon today.
Justin Welby said: ‘Ukrainians have woken up to the end of the world as they knew it.
‘Now they are awakened by the noises of war, and the sickening reality of terror. They wake up to mortal fear.
He later added: ‘Let this be a time for Russian ceasefire, withdrawal and a commitment to talks.
‘This is a time for resetting the ways of peace, not for what Bismarck called blood and iron. Let Christ prevail. Let the darkness of war be banished.’
In an unusually outspoken intervention, Mr Welby accused Boris Johnson’s administration of ‘sub-contracting our responsibilities’ and said the plan would not ‘stand the judgment of God’.
He said the proposal ‘cannot carry the weight of our national responsibility as a country formed by Christian values, because sub-contracting out our responsibilities, even to a country that seeks to do well like Rwanda, is the opposite of the nature of God who himself took responsibility for our failures.’
The archbishop added that there are ‘serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers overseas’.
‘The details are for politics’, he said, but warned that in its current form that it would ‘privilege the rich and strong.’
Russia has criticised the UK for its support for Ukraine, banning senior British politicians including Boris Johnson from entering the country.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, and former PM Theresa May are among those on the list published by Russia’s foreign ministry.
The department said in a statement the move was due to the ‘unprecedented hostile actions of the British Government, expressed, in particular, in the imposition of sanctions against top officials’ in Russia.
It added: ‘The Russophobic course of action of the British authorities, whose main goal is to stir up negative attitude toward our country, curtailing of bilateral ties in almost all areas, are detrimental to the wellbeing and interests of the residents of Britain. Any sanctions attack will inevitably backfire on their initiators and receive a decisive rebuff.’
A UK Government spokesperson said: ‘The UK and our international partners stand united in condemning the Russian government’s reprehensible actions in Ukraine and calling for the Kremlin to stop the war. We remain resolute in our support for Ukraine.’
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