On November 15, 2022 the following statement was publicly read by Dr Michael Ortiz (ICETE International Director) at the ICETE 22 Consultation in Izmir Turkey. The statement is endorsed by the ICETE Board.
The regional accreditation members are a core element of ICETE as they represent nearly 1000 theological institutions across 113 countries.
The ICETE used to have eight such members, but since our last gathering in Panama in 2018 we have tragically lost the Euro-Asia Accrediting Association (E-AAA). On 11 May 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the E-AAA Board convened and voted on its own dissolution.
We grieve the loss of E-AAA, but also, we stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in theological education in Ukraine. Since February 24, 2022, Ukraine has been under attack and subjected to an unjust and cruel war by the Russian Federation.
A delegation from Ukraine has made tremendous efforts to join us here at C-22 Izmir. We, as a global community, welcome their voice, offer hospitality to their pain, mourn the lives that have been violently taken and condemn the aggression against their country, an unjustifiable aggression that is contrary to both international law and to all Christian values.
And yet, as we do so, we do not merely see Ukrainian followers of Jesus as victims. Rather, we look to them as exemplary leaders of Christian steadfastness during unimaginable times. We do know there are many here who have undergone substantial challenges and even loss within their own contexts, whether due to persecution, natural disasters, fighting, governmental restrictions and many others. We acknowledge, decry, and lament those and stand with you as well.
And we make a public stand for not only the loss of E-AAA as an ICETE member, but also for the unjustified and relentless violence and havoc experienced by 22 former ICETE member Ukrainian schools. Still, those schools and their leaders, faculty, staff, and students continue to press forward through their consistent dependence on and strength from God. They inspire all of us because of their:
- faithfulness under attack
- perseverance in faith, despite the loss of family, friends, property and occupation
- courageous love as they have offered shelter and help to countless refugees
- and unyielding in their cry for justice.
In occasion of this statement, the Ukrainian delegation read the following Appeal of the Representatives of Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Educational Institutions to the World Evangelical Community Regarding the War of the Russian Federation against Ukraine: Breaking Through the Sound of Air Raid Sirens.