Another bishop becomes target of Security Service of Ukraine

Ovruch, Zhytomyr Province, Ukraine, June 2, 2023

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The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is investigating yet another hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The SBU officially informed His Eminence Metropoiltan Vissarion of Ovruch of suspicion yesterday. Like several other bishops, he is accused of inciting religious enmity, the SBU reports.

A number of other hierarchs, including His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod, the abbot of the Kiev Caves Lavra, have been accused of the same thing.

The secretary of the Ovruch Diocese, the Metropolitan’s brother, was also informed of suspicion.

In particular, they’re accused of circulating “pro-Kremlin” brochures. However, the SBU then explains that this means they “insulted the religious feelings of Ukrainians.” The charge of “inciting religious enmity” is used against hierarchs and clergy who speak out against the violent and schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”

Met. Vissarion and his secretary face up to five years in prison.

Meanwhile, another hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Theodosy of Cherkassy, was given another two months of house arrest yesterday. He is also charged with inciting religious enmity, because his diocesan website contained links to Orthodox sites in Russia.

The house arrest of the abbot of the Kiev Caves was also extended late last month.

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