Kiev, February 7, 2019
Conflicts around the jurisdiction and seizing of churches are organized by parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who “bribe and intimidate people,” says the head of the Ukrainian schismatic church, “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko.
Commenting on the transitioning of churches from the canonical Church to his unrecognized jurisdiction in an interview with Radio Liberty, Dumenko fell back on the anti-Russian fervor that fuel his church, saying that the seizure of churches is a provocation of Russia, which wants to ignite a religious war in Ukraine.
According to him, the creation of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” has not led to any confrontations as parishes have been transferring peacefully and calmly. And if conflict arises somewhere, its representatives of the UOC who are to blame.
There is news of church seizures and attempted seizures nearly every day throughout Ukraine, often accompanied by violence. Schismatic-nationalists beat a priest in the Ternopil Region on Sunday. Churches have also been vandalized and robbed.
Nationalists have even threatened to kidnap Fr. Vitaly Kremen’s son if he opposes the transition of his parish of St. George in the village of Yasin in the Transcarpathian Province. According to the schismatic metropolitan, the faithful of the canonical Church are beating up their own priests and threatening to kidnap the children of their own priests.
“The Moscow Patriarchate is provoking it. They create groups of people who go, who convince, who bribe, who scare people,” Dumenko said.
Epiphany also said that the canonical Ukrainian Church is Putin’s last outpost in Ukraine. Once Ukrainians move into his jurisdiction, Putin will support and the war in Donbass will end and Crimea will return to Ukraine, the schismatic primate believes.
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