Kiev, April 4, 2019
The administration of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is calling to parishes of the schismatic Ukrainian church, requiring them to advocate for his victory in the presidential elections, Verkhovna Rada Deputy Chairman Oksana Syroid said on the Verdict television program yesterday.
“I learned today that, as it turns out, the President’s administration is calling churches and telling them how they should pray that the current president would win in the elections,” Syroid said. “That is, they are sending instructions to the churches about how to remember in their homilies.”
When the host asked if this refers to the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” Syroid answered in the affirmative.
“The current president’s team is doing everything it can to lose even those it has, because they use the language of hate,” the Deputy Chairman commented.
The first round of the elections was held on March 31. Actor Vladimir Zelensky received 30.24%, Poroshenko—15.95%, and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko—13.39%. As no candidate won a majority, a second rote of voting will be held on April 21 with only Zelensky and Poroshenko on the ballot.
Syroid also said that pressure is being put on military units as well because many members voted for Zelensky, “as in all budgetary institutions.”
The hierarchs and clergy of the schismatic church have already openly thrown their weight behind Poroshenko, as have those of the Ukrainian Uniate church. On April 1, “Bishop” Adrian Kulyk-Bogdan wrote harshly against those who voted for Zelensky, saying: “I can’t believe that in our land there is such a high percentage of Little Russians … and outright idiots,” reports Vesti.
Ukrainian journalist Alexander Voznesenky has noted that a number of schismatic clergy and bishops wrote messages on social media that whoever voted for Zelensky should leave their friends’ list.
“Imagine for a moment that a pastor would push people away from himself and from Christ for the sake of politics! But this is a fact, and it is now happening on a huge scale,” Voznesensky said.
As he notes, Uniate clergy and hierarchs are doing the same.
In contrast, His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Bovary, the Chancellor of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, did not call on the faithful to vote for any particular candidate, but exhorted: “On election day, you should first go to the Sunday Liturgy and, after praying for reason from the Lord, go to the polling stations. But the most important thing is not to rely entirely on politicians.”
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