Ukrainian Metropolitan, father of 100s of orphans, victim of state oppression, suffers severe stroke

Bancheny, Chernivtsi Provine, Ukraine, July 25, 2023   

Photo: Facebook Photo: Facebook One of the most beloved hierarchs of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church suffered a severe stroke and was hospitalized on Friday, July 21.

His Eminence Metropolitan Longin of Bancheny enjoys great authority as a staunch defender of Orthodoxy and a loving father of hundreds of orphans.

Since the early 1990s, he has adopted more than 400 orphans, who have been taken care of at the orphanage run by his Holy Ascension Monastery. In 2008, he was formally awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine for his tireless efforts.

But now that hero is targeted as a state enemy, for “inciting religious enmity”—the same charge that has been brought against several other hierarchs. Two cases have been opened against him, and the hierarch is unable to pay utility bills to properly take care of his children because the state will not allow anyone to help him, he recently said.

The Diocese of Chernivtsi and Bukovina writes that “Metropolitan Longin of Bancheny suffered a severe stroke due to moral tension as a result of the persecution by the Ukrainian authorities.”

Both of his hands were temporarily paralyzed but have regained their function, while the hierarch’s leg is still in poor condition.

His Eminence’s children have been visiting him in the hospital.

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