Persecuted Metropolitan Longin undergoes heart surgery

Bancheny, Chernivtsi Province, Ukraine, December 21, 2023

Photo: Facebook Photo: Facebook His Eminence Metropolitan Longin of Bancheny, a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church who is revered throughout Ukraine and Romania and Moldova, underwent heart surgery today.

The Metropolitan has been in poor health in recent years, which is only exacerbated by the pressure of the Ukrainian state’s persecution against the Church and against him personally.

This is the second time the Metropolitan, who is also the adoptive father of hundreds of orphans, has been hospitalized since the state began its campaign against him for his firm Orthodox stance. His Eminence suffered a stroke back in July, and he was admitted to the hospital last week with atrial fibrillation.

The monastery first announced yesterday: “Brothers and sisters! Metropolitan Longin is being operated on right now. We fervently entreat your holy prayers! May the Lord save us all!!!!”

A few hours later, it wrote: “With God’s help, the operation was successful. Metropolitan Longin thanks all who offered holy prayers to the Lord for him. May the Lord save you!”

Though officially recognized as a Hero of Ukraine for his work with orphans, the state now considers him an enemy because he staunchly remains within the Orthodox Church. He is accused of “inciting religious enmity”—the same phony charge being brought against a number of Orthodox hierarchs.

Armed security forces surrounded and searched his monastery last month, scaring the orphans who live there.

Hundreds of Orthodox faithful in both Bucharest and Chișinău have rallied outside their respective Ukrainian embassies in support of Met. Longin, who is ethnically Romanian.

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