Kiev, January 10, 2019
The Ukrainian nationalist terrorist organization Right Sector has commented on the results of its Ukraine-wide campaign “Switch to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.” The terrorist organization held events throughout Ukraine on January 6, Christmas Eve, to try to force the Ukrainian faithful to abandon their Church and join the new structure created by Constantinople, though they did not achieve the desired results.
The group reported on the results on its official website, acknowledging that the faithful of the canonical Ukrainian Church were not intimidated and not interested in joining the new church, which they see as a schismatic and political organization.
Right Sector had groups in at least 11 locations throughout Ukraine, but according to the reports and photos on the site, each group was small, and the parishioners of the canonical Church did not join them. For instance, in Poltava, the parishioners simply ignored them.
The group handed out leaflets claiming that since the granting of the tomos of autocephaly on January 6, the canonical Ukrainian Church was uncanonical and graceless.
“To our great regret, the parishioners did not want to listen to common sense and assured the nationalists that the Moscow Church in Ukraine is a normal thing,” the site reports regarding the event in Poltava.
Thousands of Orthodox faithful showed up in Vinnitsa to block the terrorists from holding their event. His Eminence Archbishop Barsanuphius personally spoke with the “activists” and calmly explained to them that the canonical Ukrainian Church is free and serves the Ukrainian people.
However, the nationalists are not ready to quit, saying they will continue to dialogue with those who have not made up their minds yet about which Church to belong to.
Announcing the events, the organization wrote: “We want every Orthodox believer to come to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and revive the national identity. The Moscow Churches makes Ukrainians doubt their own independence and power, but now the time has come to switch to the Ukrainian Church.”
In typical nationalist fashion, Right Sector also warned people to keep an eye out for “bloody provocations” coming from the Moscow Patriarchate. They thereby retaliated against canonical clergy who turned to the police for protection from the Right Sector.
They also claimed that they act only within the framework of the law, though the group is well known for violently seizing churches.
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