Limassol, Cyprus, February 8, 2021
His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, one of the most authoritative hierarchs of the Church of Cyprus and of the entire Orthodox Church today, loves the suffering faithful of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and calls upon them to remain faithful to Christ in His Church under the leadership of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.
The Metropolitan offered his comments to the Union of Orthodox Journalists after viewing its film, The Faithful: Hymn of Love, which tells the story of the UOC faithful of the villages of Butyn and Kinakhivtsy who lost their churches to violent schismatics. Despite the persecution against them, the faithful have preserved love for God and love for their fellow man.
Met. Athanasios has repeatedly spoken out in defense of the Church of Christ in Ukraine and against both Constantinople’s anti-canonical invasion of Ukrainian Church territory and Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus’ unilateral recognition of the schismatics, for which he has patiently endured the scorn of the Archbishop.
“It is with great sadness and pain of heart that we witness the persecution and struggle that our Orthodox Christian brothers in Ukraine are waging to defend their true faith and devotion to the canonical Church of Metropolitan Onuphry,” Met. Athanasius said.
“We express our sympathy, our love and our prayers, and we call on our brothers to remain faithful to our Church and to the canonical Metropolitan of Ukraine, Vladyka Onuphry. We pray that the grace of the Lord will sustain them, strengthen them, and comfort them. Let them be sure that one day the persecutions and difficulties will be overcome and the truth of Christ and the canonicity of the Church will shine forth, according to the word of the Lord,” His Eminence reflected.
Met. Athanasios concluded by calling the blessing of God upon the faithful of the UOC and wishing them the graceful help of the Holy Spirit.