«Обращение архиепископа Григория, Предстоятеля Апостольской Православной Церкви»

Statement by Archbishop Gregory, Head of the Apostolic Orthodox Church

Dear friends,

I would like to begin my letter with words of gratitude. Those of us who remain in Russia and continue our human rights activities (although we are not very numerous) are infinitely grateful for the moral support we feel every day. It is especially valuable when we hear words of support from Kyiv and Dnipro, Lviv and Chernihiv, from dozens of other Ukrainian cities. Of course, not only from Ukrainian cities but also from many European, American, and African ones. Thank you!

The topic of today’s rally is torture. With horror, we have been talking about torture in Russian prisons for years. With horror, because the system of power remains deaf and silent. However, torture has become a monstrous norm in Russian prisons. Should we even mention that torture is a crime? Should we even mention that torturing prisoners of war is a double crime?

Someone can say to me: stop the war, and there will be no torture! Yes, the one who says this will be right, but today, the hostilities are still ongoing. People are killing each other. And at the same time, people are being tortured! They are tortured (as we understand it) with the sole purpose of humiliating, breaking their will, demonstrating their own power and impunity.

The peace we are hoping for will turn many pages. Deprivations will be forgotten, bitter words will be forgiven, but there can be no justification for CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!

Thank you to those who are striving to draw the world’s attention: politicians, activists, humanitarian organizations. The LAW must act against these crimes!

I would like to remind you: even in the Old Testament, the Lord calls for mercy towards captives, urges to return them home, and commands not to humiliate their dignity. Three thousand years ago, everything was already known to humanity! Three thousand years! How much longer will we test God’s patience and the indulgence of earthly authorities?

Once again, thank you to everyone who raises their voice in defense of human life and dignity!

Stop the war! Release the captives! Do not multiply lawlessness on Earth!

Archbishop Gregory,
Head of the Apostolic Orthodox Church

Saint Petersburg, June 25, 2023

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