Arsons of churches destroy society, country and future, – UOC hierarch
Increased crimes against the UOC have become a continuation of the aggressive attitude towards the canonical Church on the part of radical political forces.
Archbishop Theodosius of Boyarka sees the reason for attacks on Orthodox churches in the unpunished incitement of hostility by the powerful through the media, reports the website of the Kiev Metropolitanate.
"I think that the reason is the constantly aggravated aggression against the UOC by the media and radical political forces in the society. Arsons in Kiev, Odessa, Lvov, and other cities is one of the links of this aggression against the canonical Church in Ukraine. For such actions in a legal society, those who incite inter-faith hostility should have been deprived of broadcasting licenses or parliamentary immunity and brought to criminal responsibility long time ago," the bishop explains. "It would be so in any civilized European country."
The head of the Northern Vicariate of the capital recalled recent events: "The entire world watched this on the example of the arson of the Tithes (Desiatinny) Monastery. If some people's deputies come to the temples, intimidate, initiate attacks, and in any case, the ultimate generators and instigators of such crimes remain absolutely unpunished."
"There is a corresponding article in the Criminal Code of Ukraine, but in practice it's the opposite. And here is the result: even reports of the arson of churches are no longer unusual," complains Most Reverend Theodosius.
The arson of the Сhurch of the Transfiguration of the Lord near the Kiev TB Dispensary was performed on the Great Lent on the eve of the Sunday of the Cross. And the Bishop expressed the hope that the rector and the community of the church "for overcoming this great sorrow and temptation, which they survive with dignity, will receive from God great consolation and help as faithful soldiers of Christ". Archbishop Theodosius stressed that enduring threats of radicals in recent years "both the rector, Protopriest Alexander Prochenko, and his parishioners are confessors of the faith".
The bishop advised vandals and arsonists, if among them there are people "not just working something out" but the one who are going to the crime for ideological reasons, not to delude themselves and remember the place in the historical memory of our people of the last century’s activists who participated in the persecution of the Church.
"Thinking that they are doing this for the benefit of the society and the country, for the sake of a "bright future", they are greatly mistaken. By such crimes, they really destroy the society, the country, and the future," the UOC hierarch stressed.
Archbishop Theodosius urged to pray that the Lord would reason the persecutors of the Church, "as well as those persons who initiate and cover such criminal acts both against the Church and against their people".