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21.12.2009

Religious leaders call on Ukrainians to do their civic duty and vote

   

On 21 December, the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations issued an Appeal to the Ukrainian People regarding the Presidential Elections. The document reflects the joint position of the religious organizations involved regarding the need to take part in the elections, the criteria for informed choice and calls on presidential candidates to promote consolidation of society. The religious leaders also stress the need for the media to provide truthful information about candidates and the course of the elections and warn believers of the inadmissibility of any campaigning in the name of Churches and religious organizations.

“We believe that the life of individuals, peoples and countries is directed by God. Yet it is dependent on each of us which road we choose – of truth or deception, good or evil. The Almighty gave us freedom of choice while at the same time imposing responsibility for its consequences”, the document states.

The appeal calls on all voters “despite possible disillusionment or lack of faith in politics and politicians to come to the polling stations on Election Day and make an informed choice”

They stress that a country cannot exist without leadership, and the choice will be made regardless, but should not be made without each voter’s participation. Exercising the right to vote is a civic duty.

“Do not let yourself be bought, do not sell your vote for money, handouts or promises, be worthy of the high calling of Person and Citizen.”

They call on all who determine whether the elections are honest and fair – members of electoral commissions, politicians, judges and law enforcement officers – to remember their responsibility before God and the Ukrainian people”.

They ask believers and priests of all confessions to not take part in political campaigning in the name of the Church and religious organizations even if asked or forced into doing so.

  In concluding they call on all believers to pray intensively for fair and honest elections, for the election of the most worthy presidential candidate and on Election Day to come to polling stations and give their voice for a worthy candidate.

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