Rovno eparchy demands that parishioners be protected against persecutions

Session of Rovno Regional Council deputies

Metropolitan Bartholomew of Rovno and Ostrog has made an address to the state power and heads of the law enforcement services demanding to put a stop to the deputies’ destructive activities.

As the UOJ journalist found out from the letter of the ruling bishop of Rovno eparchy, actions of the deputies fo Rovno Regional Council gravely violate the Ukrainian legislation and Constitutional rights of the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, posing a threat to the security of the entire state.

Metropolitan Bartholomew had to write an official letter after two deputies of Rovno Regional Council –Alexander Savchuk from Svoboda party and Valentin Krok from "Block Poroshenko" Solidarity" party – urged the rest of the people's deputies to "prevent subversive activities of the ROC, which operates through the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine."

According to Bishop Bartholomew, this appeal of the Regional Council deputies aims to "undermine stability in the country, foment confessional strife, sow hatred between people and expand internal war on the spiritual front, which will lead to aggression, destabilization and undermining national security."

Metropolitan of Rovno and Ostrog is also deeply outraged by the fact that the said members openly manipulate with a difficult situation in the country, making the Ukrainian people fall for regular slanders toward the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

In fact, on March 16, 2018 Rovno Regional Council voted for the address, in which the priests of the UOC were accused that they allegedly "call in their sermons and prayers to pray for the glory of Russian weapons" and "bless terrorists for war".

Arising from the foregoing, Metropolitan Bartholomew of Rovno and Ostrog asks the country's top leadership to take decisive actions to protect the entire community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in particular, the Rovno Eparchy of the UOC from "attacks of disguised terrorists".

In conclusion of the appeal, it says, "Given the real threat to national security in Ukraine and the religious community of the UOC, we request:

1. To immediately start criminal proceedings and bring to criminal liability the deputies of Rovno Regional Council, who signed the above address, under Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (High Treason), art. 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Inciting religious enmity), Art.295 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Appeals to commit acts that threaten public order), art. 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Abuse of office);

2. Take actions to protect the citizens of Ukraine, who are parishioners of the UOC, to defend their Constitutional rights, to release them and their children in schools from persecutions and harassments."

The head of the UOC Eparchy addressed an official letter to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine and the General Prosecutor's Office.

Simultaneously with the decision of Rovno Regional Council , the site of the Right Sector reported that "together with the fellow thinkers from the National Corps and the Svoboda, they helped the deputies of the Regional Council to make important decisions for the life of Rovno".

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