Bancheny, Chernivtsi Province, Ukraine, February 6, 2024
His Eminence Metropolitan Longin of Bancheny is known as one of the most stalwart hierarchs of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Therefore, he is also one of the prime targets of the state and those who attack the Church.
Having already suffered severe health setbacks in recent months under the pressure of the state’s campaign against him, His Eminence was also physically attacked late last month.
Yesterday, the Facebook page of Bancheny Monastery, where the Metropolitan also takes care of the hundreds of orphans he has adopted, posted the above image, with the short message: “This is the price of the purity of the Orthodox faith!”
A post today included a short statement from Met. Longin:
This happened on the night of January 22, 2024. Someone knocked on the door three times, and when I opened it, I was struck and knocked unconscious. As a result of the blow, I had to have surgery on my eyelids. I feel good now! Everything is left to the mercy and judgment of God!
Though officially recognized as a Hero of Ukraine for having adopted hundreds of 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.
His Eminence has suffered several severe health incidents since the state launched its campaign against him. He suffered a stroke back in July, and he was admitted to the hospital last month with atrial fibrillation, after which he underwent heart surgery. In late December, the Metropolitan’s car was unjustifiably detained and searched. Following the incident, his condition worsened and he experienced a heart arrhythmia.
Armed security forces surrounded and searched his monastery in November, scaring the orphans who live there. Furthermore, His Eminence’s previous lawyer, Valentin Sukhari, died from poisoning in November. In early January, his house in Bukovina went up in flames.