We absolutely condemn the unprovoked and unjustifiable cold-blooded aggression and actions of the war against the free, peaceful, and democratic European country of Ukraine launched by Russia on 24 February 2022.
We stand in solidarity with Ukrainian academic colleagues – individual scholars of the study of religions and the Ukrainian Association of Researchers of Religion, the Workshop for the Academic Study of Religions (former Youth Association for the Study of Religions), as well as the people of Ukraine, who currently face the largest land invasion in Europe since World War II because of Russia’s shocking aggression.
Dear colleagues, you are not alone! Lithuanian society and the Lithuanian academic community are continuing to work on multilayered support for your country and your people. Lithuanian society has mobilised in support of the Ukrainian people and spread the word about the current deeply painful and extremely difficult situation throughout Europe. Financial aid for Ukraine has been gathered via various campaigns. The Lithuanian academic community has reached out to Ukrainian academic colleagues to demonstrate its solidarity and to offer its help. It has addressed leaders in Europe and worldwide. It has ceased cooperation with all academic institutions and programs, affiliated with the Russian and Belarusian governments. Groups have been formed for coordinating aid to Ukraine. Information campaigns promoting unity and solidarity with Ukraine have been started in Lithuania and other countries and will be continued.
On behalf of the Society, we strongly encourage Russian scholars of the study of religions as well as other Russian scholars to speak out against the war and the regime responsible for it. The ongoing events are deadly not only for Ukraine, but for Russia, all Europe and the entire world. We call on you to speak out openly regarding your opposition to the war. Today it is crucial that everyone, in whatever position, makes every possible effort to stop the war.
We also invite European Union policy makers and the directors of European academic institutions to open all existing research opportunities within the European Union to Ukrainian scholars, thereby fully welcoming the Ukrainian academic community into the European space of EU science. We encourage all European scholars to work together with our Ukrainian colleagues in a collaborative and supportive manner to ensure their success as new members of the European academic community.
February 28, 2022 (Updated: March 6, 2022)