January 31, 2023

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine opened ‘gates of hell’, archbishop of Canterbury says

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said on Sunday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “opened the gates of hell”, unleashing “every evil” force around the world, from murder and rape in occupied territories to starvation and debt in Africa and Europe.

Welby, the world’s most senior clergyman in the Anglican Communion, visited Ukraine late last month to meet with church leaders and local Christians, as well as those displaced by the conflict.


He said he was amazed at “the size of the mass graves in Bucha, the photographs of what was done to people there, the rapes, the massacres, the torture by the Russian occupying forces.”

And he said that the consequences of the invasion are felt far beyond the borders of Ukraine.

“In fact, we are fighting the same fight at the same distance. When Ukraine was invaded by the decision of President (Vladimir) Putin, the gates of hell opened and all the forces of evil came out from all over the world,” he told BBC television.

“I was in Mozambique a week before I was in Ukraine, where famine is spreading all along the coast of East Africa,” he said.


“There is inflation… there is an energy crisis, there is suffering, there is a shortage of medicines, all the evil has broken loose, and until there is a withdrawal of troops and a ceasefire, we will not be able to make progress in reconciliation,” he added.

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