Authorities try to set up “Poroshenko-controlled Church”, – expert

Director of the Ukrainian Institute for Policy Analysis and Management Ruslan Bortnik

Ukrainian politicians regard the Church exclusively as an electoral tool, there is nothing sacred in it for them, believes political scientist Ruslan Bortnik.

According to the director of the Ukrainian Institute for Policy Analysis and Management Ruslan Bortnik, the authorities will do everything necessary to have their own church under their control, not bothering about the issue of canonicity. He told about it in the air program “The Right to Faith” on Pershyi Kozatskyi (First Cossack) channel.

"If we decipher this "Single Local Church", we will get actually the "Church of Petro Poroshenko", i.e. government-geared Church. It does not matter who they will pray to: Jesus Christ, green men, a holy toad. All this is not important for the authorities. It is important that it be controlled," he said.

According to the expert, in case of legalization of the Kyiv Patriarchate, many key shrines will be seized within a year, especially if this occurs before the elections.

"The fact that the authorities do it is our fault, including Orthodox people, because the power is not guided by their opinion and because they have a poor voting activity – they do not go to vote. Therefore, the government does not cater to the needs of Orthodox Christians during the elections. Politicians are animals. They look for power and strength, and they will always target the voter. If Orthodox voters turn into a single force, politicians will come to Orthodox temples and swear they will support you," the political expert explained.

Earlier, the head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Hilarion said that the fulfilled intention of the self-proclaimed Kiev Patriarchate to take away Kiev-Pechersk and Pochaev Lavras could lead to tragic consequences. If these plans are implemented, it might result in bloodshed.

In mid-April, Poroshenko turned to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople with a request to grant Tomos on autocephaly to the Church in Ukraine and announced the creation of a Single Local Church. The Verkhovna Rada supported the petition of the President. The Kyiv Patriarchate has already stated they see their leader Filaret, anathematized by the canonical Church, as a head of the SLC.

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