To Representatives of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations

Metropolitan Luke’s wartime notes

If you have been following our news coverage of the ecclesiastical situation in Ukraine, you would recall the many attacks on members of the only canonical and history Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), about the arrest of its priests and hierarchs on trumped up charges, and very recently, the bills in the Ukrainian parliament that would ban the UOC—or as a lead up to that, force it to change its name to the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine. This is all despite the fact that the UOC is autonomous, makes all its own decisions independently of the Moscow Patriarchate, and fully supports in every way the people of its own country—Ukraine. If you have not been following this coverage, you can find much of it under the Ukrainian Church crisis banner.

Outraged at this blatant violation of human rights, an attorney based in the Netherlands has taken up a pro bono defense of the UOC on the international level. Probably sensing an impending public relations debacle, the government-controlled Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO) has deployed a propaganda group of representatives from various confessions to try and convince Americans that there are no persecutions against the UOC in Ukraine. Conspicuously absent from this group is the absolutely largest religious confession in Ukraine—the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. No wonder of course—this is the Church being persecuted.

Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye comments on this event.

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Christ is in our midst, my dear readers!

In Observing how current politicians are continuing to destroy my Motherland, including by way of religious enmity and hatred, nothing surprises me any longer. You can't evaluate the actions of people from the perspective of logic and common sense when they, “fighting for freedom and independence,” start setting fire to their own house from the inside. There can only be one of two possible answers here. These people are either madmen or enemies and traitors. But whoever they may be, they have already made their choice of their own eternal lot.

The last thing that could still surprise me is how far the leaders of other religious denominations are willing to stoop in humiliating their own faiths and dignity, all just to appease those who are in power today. Because in this situation, it’s not even about religious beliefs, but about simple universal human concepts such as conscience, honor, justice, and dignity, which are common to all religions.

All the representatives of the UCCRO who went as a united group to the USA to deceive the American people by claiming that there are no persecutions against the Church in Ukraine know very well that they are lying. They are well aware that our parishioners are dying on the front lines, that the UOC provides assistance to the soldiers, and that we condemn the war. Nevertheless, they are willing to smile and lie shamelessly without any embarrassment.

I, as a hierarch of the UOC, am obligated according to my faith to stand up for any person who is humiliated and persecuted for their religious beliefs. It would not matter to me which faith they profess. What matters to me is that I act in accordance with my faith. And what the mission group of the UCCRO in America is doing today indicates that its representatives either have no faith and are atheists, or they are renegades who have betrayed their faith to appease the world.

I will remind these people of what their own religion teaches them.


“Sheker” (lies), even harmless, is abhorrent to the Almighty. Lying lips are abomination to the Lord (Prov. 8:13). According to the Talmud: “Truth stands, but lies do not.” Rabbi Shimon's interpretations of these words are very simple: “From truth, only truth follows, and from lies—anything.”


To you, I will repeat the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad: “A person in whose heart there is faith may stumble in many things, but he cannot be a traitor or a liar.” “If a man speaks a lie, the angel moves away from him for a mile because of the foul smell that will emanate from him.”

To Christians of all denominations:

Slanderers will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:10). The destiny of ALL LIARS is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur (Rev. 21:8).

Metropolitan Luke (Kovalenko) of Zaporozhye and Melitopol
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