2nd March 2022

Yuval Noah Harari, the historian and author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, wrote the following sad truth in The Guardian this week:

… each Ukrainian killed deepens the Ukrainians’ hatred. Hatred is the ugliest of emotions. But for oppressed nations, hatred is a hidden treasure. Buried deep in the heart, it can sustain resistance for generations… By spilling more and more Ukrainian blood, Putin is making sure his dream will never be realised.

How should we respond to this tragic and outrageous situation? How should those of us respond who have not had to suffer the fear of threats from a bullying neighbour and the terror of invasion? How can we start to talk about a God of love in the midst of such strong emotions which seem to squeeze out the possibility of any love?

One further lesson from history seems to be that, where love and peace do finally triumph, it is usually at the end of a long period of hard work, imaginative thinking and brave actions. But we are not there yet. Now is the time to be opening our doors to refugees for there will surely be many thousands of those.

As I write this (Monday), our faith leaders are writing to the Prime Minister about the potential repercussions of the Nationality and Borders Bill, urging him to reconsider its impact on refugees and asylum seekers. You can read their letter here; it provides plenty of food for thought for this day.

Nick Parsons