Russia must stop attacks on churches and places of worship in Ukraine, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe (CoE) stressed on Wednesday.
In their joint statement, the two international organizations also stressed that they mourn the victims of the war and criticized the fact that millions of people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the Russian military invasion of Ukrainian territory since February 24.
The two organizations, which aim to promote peaceful dialogue, called on “Russia to stop the destruction of churches and places of worship, which, like the murders without discrimination of tens of thousands of civilians, constitute crimes against humanity”, according to the text.
“We are appalled by the destruction of churches and places of worship: churches, synagogues, and mosques. It is vital for the country’s diverse religious communities, even more so in times of crisis,” the statement adds.
Ukrainian officials estimate that about 60 churches and places of worship have been destroyed or damaged during the war.