UOC informs Orthodox primates about persecution of Church throughout Ukraine

Kiev, June 21, 2022

Photo: news.church.ua Photo: news.church.ua     

The Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church sent letters to the primates of the Local Orthodox Churches yesterday and today, informing them about developments in the pressure and persecution against the Church throughout the country.

His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony wrote, to the primates of the Churches of Antioch, Jerusalem, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Poland, Albania, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, the Orthodox Church in America, and the hierarchs of the Cypriot Church with whom he is personally acquainted, about his own diocese of Boryspil, where secular authorities are attempting to ban the Church altogether, and about the UOC as a whole reports the Boryspil Diocese.

The pressure on the Church has increased greatly since the beginning of the war in late February, including a wave of local secular authorities declaring bans on the Church.

Met. Anthony has also appealed to the ambassadors of EU countries, the UN mission, and other international organizations.

His Eminence greeted the primates and hierarchs with the beginning of the Apostles’ Fast and noted with regret that “various anti-Church forces do not cease to use the difficult situation in the country for their own purposes.”

Met. Anthony noted that within his diocese, five city and village councils gave into pressure and, ignoring the views of actual Orthodox parishioners, decided to completely ban the activities of the Church. In general, there are 36 such illegal cases in Ukraine, he writes.

Additionally, the violent seizure of churches continues uninterrupted throughout Ukraine. In total, 250 churches have been seized, with only 53 cases of actual transfers into the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”

Despite the OCU’s declarations that its ready to dialogue with the canonical Church, its continued violent and illegal seizures prove otherwise, Met. Anthony explains to the hierarchs.

Despite appeals to the Ukrainian president and international organizations, there have been no clear answers or corresponding actions from the state, Met. Anthony laments.

At the same time, despite the ongoing trials, the UOC continues to carry out its mission among the people of Ukraine, including providing assistance to all those affected by the war, the Chancellor affirms.

Finally, Met. Anthony asks the primates and hierarchs to offer prayers for the clergy and faithful of the Boryspil Diocese and the whole of Ukraine.

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