Last Wednesday, Putin announced a draft in Russia to send a “partial mobilization” of 300,000 troops to Ukraine.

Patriarch Kirill, head of Russian Orthodox Church, tried to calm the fears of recruits, saying soldiers who die in Ukraine have their sins washed away.

During his Divine Liturgy homily on Sunday, Kirill prayed for a quick end to the “fratricidal war” to avoid as many casualties as possible.

He related Christ’s sacrifice to the the supposed sacrifice of a Russian soldier who died fighting in Ukraine, saying

“The Church realizes that if somebody, driven by a sense of duty and the need to fulfill their oath goes to do what their duty calls of them, and if a person dies in the performance of this duty, then they have undoubtedly committed an act equivalent to sacrifice. They will have sacrificed themselves for others.

And therefore, we believe that this sacrifice washes away all the sins that a person has committed.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis prayed for Ukraine at his Wednesday general audience this week.

“Let us think of Ukraine and pray for this martyred people.”  

He said they are “suffering so much” and the “people have been so cruelly tried.”

🙏 Pray for Ukraine!

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