Dnipro, Ukraine, May 23, 2018
A group of Ukrainian nationalists attempted to provoke a fight with believers of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church who had gathered outside the Dnipro Regional Council a few days ago to protest the proposed amalgamation of two schismatic confessions into a new autocephalous Ukrainian Church.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivered an appeal last month, with the backing of the Ukrainian parliament and the entire hierarchy of Ukraine’s two schismatic Orthodox confessions, calling on the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant a tomos of autocephaly to a new, united Ukrainian Church.
The initiative was not backed by a single hierarch of the true Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Christ, nor has it received the approval of the primate or Synod of any other Orthodox Church in the world. The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Throne has announced that for now they will meet with other Local Orthodox Churches to discuss the matter.
The faithful peacefully gathered outside the regional administration building in Dnipro on Monday, children in tow, reports the local publication Informator.
According to the source, the radical activists were already waiting for the faithful at the site of the protest, which had been previously announced on social networks. They surrounded the protestors as they approached, questioning them about who they were and why they had come.
When one of the faithful unfolded a banner reading, “The Kiev Patriarchate is not worthy of autocephaly,” the activists tore the sign and knocked the man to the ground. The “Kiev Patriarchate,” led by the self-proclaimed “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko, is the larger of Ukraine’s two schismatic confessions.
The officers on duty around the administration building were able to prevent a fight, surrounding the protestors to prevent any further provocations.
Violence is nothing new for the schismatic nationalists in Ukraine who declared last month that Poroshenko’s appeal was his signal to them that it is time to act and to begin more forcefully seizing parishes of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a self-governing Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
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