“The authority that confuses its flags with God, and God with its own opinions, is doomed,” one Deputy said.
Kiev, November 29, 2018
More than 20 Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Deputies have submitted a joint application to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, demanding to bring a case against officials for the violations of the rights and freedoms of the clergy and faithful of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, reports RIA-Novosti.
“Together with 22 People’s Deputies I filed an application to the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the commission of crimes by state official. We believe that the rights and freedoms of citizens and the clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being deliberately violated,” the non-faction Rada Deputy Andrei Derkach wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday.
“The highest officials of the state systematically violate the rights and freedoms of citizens and clergy of religious organizations,” the Deputies write in their statement, as the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reports.
Such a conviction was also expressed by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in March.
Derkach also included a list of violations, including surveillance of bishops by the Ukrainian Security Service, illegal detentions at entry checkpoints, drawing up lists for border services to exert pressure, forceful incursions into the premises of diocesan offices, and threats from security officers and governors against representatives of the canonical Church.
“The authority that confuses its flags with God, and God with its own opinions, is doomed,” Derkach commented.
Among the other violations mentioned in the submitted appeal, the Ministers write that the pressure on canonical bishops to participate in the upcoming “unification council” “will lead to an even more brazen violation of the rights of believers and the destabilization of the situation in the state.”
The Deputies specifically note Poroshenko’s attempt to forcefully gather the entirety of the canonical episcopate to meet with him at the Ukraine House, though the bishops stood up to him and insisted on meeting with him at the Kiev Caves Lavra, which he declined to do.
This attempt came just days after Poroshenko told the clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that they have no business being in Ukraine and should leave for Russia.
Around the same time, His Eminence Archbishop Ambrose of Verey, the rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, was stopped at the Kiev airport and denied entry to the country. In an attempt to justify this action, he was then added to the governmental Mirotvorets website that compiles information on so-called “enemies of Ukraine.”
As OrthoChristian has previously reported, a number of hierarchs from the Ukrainian Church, and from other Churches, have been added to the website, including His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev, His Eminence Metropolitan Paul of Vyshogorod and Chernobyl, the abbot of the Kiev Caves Lavra, His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir of Pochaev, the abbot of the Pochaev Lavra, and even His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia.
Following Poroshenko’s failed attempt to meet with the bishops, and their resolutions of November 13 in which they affirmed the decision of the Russian Holy Synod’s decision to break communion with Constantinople, the Ukrainian Security Service, the successor to the KGB in Ukraine, begin calling bishops for “conversations.”
Members of Ukrainian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Defense recently announced that once Constantinople creates a new autocephalous Ukrainian Church, the canonical Church will be prevented from carrying out its military chaplaincy service.
Moreover, the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers recently took the buildings of the Pochaev Lavra away from the monastery and the Ministry of Culture has begun taking inventory on the sacred items in the Kiev Caves Lavra.
Pressure and persecution against the canonical Ukrainian Church has been ongoing for several years in Ukraine, and seems to be becoming more systematic in the lead-up to Constantinople’s granting of autocephaly to the new church it intends to create.
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