SBU searches not only UOJ journalists but also Cross Procession organizers

25 January, the officials of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) searched not only a UOJ journalist, but also one of the organizers of the All-Ukrainian Cross Procession-2016, Archpriest Viktor Zemlianoy. Being responsible for resolving religious conflicts in the Rovno eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Zemlianoy led the Western column of the Cross Procession from the Pochaev Lavra, wrote on his FB page the head of the UOC Law Department Archpriest Alexander Bakhov.

"The SBU searched the house of the priest of the Rovno eparchy who, despite provocations and threats, enabled the All-Ukrainian Cross Procession from Pochaev to reach Kiev. I then thought, "They will not forgive him that!" said the head of the Law Department. The priest’s surname was not mentioned; however, as the UOJ found out, the search that day was made at Fr.Viktor Zemlianoy’s.

Already in the summer of 2016, the deputy head of the UOC Synodal Department for Youth Maksim Kostenko assumed the possibility of such a scenario in summer. "It is very important that the authorities, representatives of law enforcement bodies exercise appropriate judgment and restraint. You know, God forbid, to bring some "claims", call it so, willingly or unwillingly, against those people who walked in the Cross Procession , especially the organizers and those who led the column across Ukraine," he said during the UOJ telemarathon All-Ukrainian Cross Procession-2016".

And before that the deputy and advisor to the MIA head Anton Gerashchenko said that UOJ activities must be scrutinized by the SBU and even Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine.

"For those who want to understand the issue, how, why and what for the UOC-MP suddenly decided to hold such a large-scale event – I recommend to study the history of the NGO Union of Orthodox Journalists which emerged last autumn," he wrote on his Facebook page.

Gerashchenko added that "project Mirotvorets (Peacemaker) has already included this organization to the monitoring plan for closer inspection of its role in an attempt to incite sectarian strife in Ukraine ".
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