Fake storm: TOP-5 false statements about UOC
”When preaching of Christianity began, they tried to slander the Gospel by saying that Christians victimized infants and ate their flesh.”
Origen “Against Celsus”
Such a number of fakes, insinuations and lies against the UOC, as it has been seen and heard over the past two weeks, can hardly compete with all the last year’s. For those who have not lost an ability to think critically, we offer to estimate the scale of the fakes on their own.
That is a mug’s game
It is a tragic story of the deceased boy from Zaporozhye that became a springboard for mass media to launch their large-scale attack on the UOC. At the instigation of activist Yuriy Gudimenko, volunteer Valentin Bury and journalists’ malpractice this event got overgrown with numerous fakes and unreliable information.
In particular, ironical seems the fact that while framing up the whole story, "infallible" media published in the news the information about the priest, who has nothing to do with this case. None of the journalists even bothered to find out that in Zaporozhye eparchy of the UOC there are two clerics with the same name and surname.
This once again underscores the lack of professionalism of the media attacking the UOC, as well as their unwillingness to delve into the true state of affairs.
False beating and a militant teacher
One of the most hyped fakes was a story about Zaporozhye-based NGO Radomir, which they tried to portray as a nearly private military campaign with guerrillas armed to their teeth.
First they produced a fake that members of this organization allegedly beat an ATO soldier who had come to express his protest to the UOC church. The author of this fake was "volunteer" Valentin Bury who told how the members of Radomir organization, whom he called the "military wing of the Church," allegedly "kicked" the men who had come to the temple. After this statement, Bury immediately called to bring "many canisters" to "the church in a small market." However, after a while, probably realizing what he had been writing, he added a note saying that "he said nothing about burning".
Later, the police of Zaporozhye region will say that the group that arrived at the call did not find either ... victims or assaulters near the church. A criminal case was opened on the fact of a "deliberately false report on the commission of a crime". But, as they say, the information had already been disseminated, preparing the ground for subsequent info provocations.
In the end, one did not have to wait long for them. In the media there was another story about searches of the Radomir members, during which they allegedly found "unregistered weapons", "pro-Russian symbols" and "anti-Ukrainian materials." It was also reported that the organization was involved in the protection of temples which belong to Zaporozhye eparchy of the UOC.
Eventually it turned out, this organization does not have any relation to security activity, it is engaged in charitable activity helping ... schools. It is led by a simple schoolteacher, while the notorious weapon, a hunting carbine, is registered in accordance with the law: it can be bought freely in any arms store.
"However, someone needed to create an" image of the enemy "and both" weapons "and" symbols" were used in the articles," underlined human rights activist Oleg Denisov.
Prosecutor's Office versus UOC
Who will then check the "facts" concocted out of thin air, if those who are supposed to do checking – the law enforcement bodies – actually fabricate such pseudo-facts. It would seem that, called to establish truth and restore justice, they cannot degrade to the level of tabloid press. But, unfortunately, they can.
It is known that on January 11 the prosecutor’s office of Zaporozhye region announced the beginning of the investigation in relation to the actions, committed by “particular representatives of Zaporozhye eparchy”, as well as NGO Radomir, and directed at stirring up religious animosity.
NGO "Public Advocacy" stressed that "in accordance with the norms of international law, the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine did not have the right to give such comments, as it created the impression that there are some guilty persons in the crime and these persons belong to the UOC-MP . This is not so, in Ukraine the presumption of innocence is recognized and officials should refrain from commenting, which may become an occasion for information manipulation."
According to the human rights defenders, the statement of the prosecutor’s office has provoked fake messages by the media about the criminal case being allegedly started against definite clerics of the UOC.
However, no one officially was put on suspicion! What does this mean? It means that no one accused them of anything, did not question them, did not demand explanations, did not find out the circumstances. However, the prosecutor's office said that it had already managed to "establish" something. Namely, the Church "allows" (!) for a selective approach to the rituals, giving the advantage to those being baptized precisely at the UOC. Thus, the public develop a false idea that this is a violation of the law. Nevertheless, a selective approach to the observance of religious rituals is not prohibited by the current legislation of Ukraine and is an established practice throughout the world being respected and recognized by international law.
Moreover, Article 180 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine reads, "Forcing a clergyman by physical or mental violence to conduct a religious rite is subject to punishment by a fine of up to fifty non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens or arrest for up to six months."
Sviatogorsk Lavra, weapons and Kadyrov guard
On the eve of the feast of the Circumcision of the Lord, the media published an interview with Major General of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Igor Gordiychuk. Again, unsubstantiated allegations and overtly filthy insinuations against the clergy of the UOC were voiced that detachments of Chechen Special Forces were hiding at the Sviatogorsk Lavra; weapons, ammunition, etc are stored there. It is interesting that such fakes had been exaggerated before, and again they were pulled out of naphthalene, as they say, at the right time.
"In the temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP), terrorists and ammunition were placed at the Sviatogorsk Lavra in Donbass ... Later all this was revealed when all the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate were inspected. There are weapons, ammunition, equipment, militants, these priests are dual-purpose. They are so to say priests and militants," the major-general said.
The absurdity of such a statement is obvious. If Gordiychuk really is a witness of such things, why should he not say the same under oath in court? If the SBU had indeed discovered such facts, then criminal cases would have been opened long ago, some specifics would have become known. Who hid, where, in what temple? Without it, these are all tales aimed at inciting hatred towards the Church.
It is interesting that when the journalist raised the question of "betrayal" against "volunteers" by the top leadership of Ukraine during the interview, the general suddenly changed his rhetoric: "We are a democratic civilized country ... It is not possible to say it "in general", it is necessary to specifically consider each case, establish particular names, specific cases ... for this end there is a prosecutor's office, a court, everyone must do THEIR job."
And the Church, therefore, can be blamed by anyone, "in general," without evidence, without charge or trial? One has been feeling sick and tired of double standards and hypocrisy of the persecutors of the UOC for a long time now.
Whose is the Crimea?
The fake that the vicegerent of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Metropolitan Paul allegedly said that the Crimea is not Ukrainian was taken on board by dozens of Internet resources. The fake is obvious and easily refuted. However, who will make the fake-mongers apologize?
If you carefully look at the video of the dialogue between Bishop Paul and the radicals from S14, it becomes clear that the words "Crimea has never been Ukrainian" was said by vladyka not in an affirmative, but in an interrogative way. And after a while he said affirmatively, "The Crimea was, is and will be Ukrainian."
- So you think that Crimea is not Ukrainian, right?
- Ukrainian it was, is and will be. Stavropol is also Ukrainian!
Horrid yell of the dog
On December 4, an incident took place in St. Nicholas Cathedral in the city of Kamenskoye, which is still being kept in focus by the media. A local priest, father John, is accused of beating a defenseless dog with a brick on its head. Further, the legend branches out: some media report that he killed the dog, others – that "he caused a state of shock to the dog." The local animal protection organization Zooshchit (Zoo-shield) started disseminating the information. The journalists, who were particularly imbued with stories of animal defenders, even wrote that the owner of the animal ran to the "heartbreaking cry of the dog" (direct quotation). Well. A dog that knows how to scream is probably a heartbreaking sight.
But how was it really? Parishioners repeatedly complained that they were afraid to enter the Cathedral because of aggressive dogs belonging to one of the guards. The secretary of Kamenskoye eparchy, father Makariy, informed the UOJ that three weeks before the incident he had repeatedly asked the guard to remove the dogs or resort to security measures: a chain, a muzzle. The watchman replied that the animals help him protect the territory. As it turned out later, they helped him protect it also from the parishioners of the Cathedral.
The UOJ talked to the priest, accused of cruelty – father John.
"Together with the parishioners we came to the temple at 6 am," the priest said. “The dogs behaved very aggressively. I had to cover people back, and drive away the dogs myself. I picked up a brick from the ground to scare them away. After that one of the dogs ran away at once, and it took me about five minutes to fight with the other. It happened so that the brick hit the paw. The dog hid under the fence. And only then came the watchman and took it away. All this was watched by my frightened parishioners."
Watching this real fake storm, the picture of persecutions of the first Christians comes to mind and a thought that the accusations of "eating babies" are not far away at present. In their desire to destroy the UOC, its enemies are likened to first slanderers of Christians.
In response, one feels like quoting the words of "cyborg" Sergei Biloshitsky, commander of the first squadron of the 90th separate assault battalion of the 81st airmobile brigade, which in 2014 participated in the battles for Donetsk airport: "I am witnessing how the UOC, despite the counteraction of the power, the aggression of part of the Ukrainian society, the indifference of people to each other's problems, not only constantly prays for peace and prosperity of Ukraine, but also looks for a way to release our heroes from captivity ... I ask the society to stop fomenting an atmosphere around the religious issue, because this is a direct way to exacerbation of internal conflicts in which we, Ukrainians, are going to lose first of all!”