Church of England spiritual leader says Putin's invasion of Ukraine opened 'gates of hell'


Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said on Sunday that Russia's invasion of Ukraine had 'opened the gates of hell', unleashing 'every evil force' in the world, murder and rape in the occupied territories with famine and price inflation in Africa and Europe.

Justin Welby, the Church of England's most senior cleric, traveled to Ukraine late last month to meet with church leaders and local Christians as well as people displaced by the conflict.

He said he was struck by "the size of the mass graves in Bucha, the pictures of what was done to the people there, the rapes, the massacres, the torture by the Russian occupying forces".

The British archbishop added that the repercussions of the invasion were felt far beyond Ukraine's borders.

“Indeed, we are in the same fight on a certain level. When Ukraine was invaded by the decision of President (Vladimir) Putin, the gates of hell opened and all evil forces spread across the world,” he told the BBC.

"I was in Mozambique the week before I was in Ukraine, where there is famine all along the East African coast," he added. During this trip, he notably visited the region of Cabo Delgado, affected by the jihadists, where he met survivors of the insurgency.

"There is inflation... there is an energy crisis, there is suffering, there are drug shortages, all evil has been unleashed and until there is withdrawal and ceasefire, we will not be able to move forward on the road to reconciliation. »

In the UK, he continued, soaring food and fuel prices, partly due to the conflict, have led to a 400% increase in the number of people asking for help over the past 18 months. help from food banks.

“We are seeing an increase in debt, pressure on families at all levels. »

This is not the first time that Justin Welby has publicly criticized the war in Ukraine, last February he called the Russian invasion "an act of great evil".

Earlier this month, the United States pledged $2,5 billion in additional food aid to Africa, pledging to help the continent cope with rising prices driven in part by the invasion of Ukraine, breadbasket, by Russia.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

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Summary of news from October 3, 2023

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