Zhitomir authorities urge UOC metropolitans to support autocephaly

Metropolitan Nikodim and Metropolitan Vissarion

The governor and mayor of Zhitomir requested Metropolitan Nikodim and Metropolitan Vissarion to support the process of granting autocephaly.

Zhitomir authorities wrote an appeal to the ruling bishops of the Ovruch and Zhitomir eparchies with a request to support the autocephaly and express a “pro-Ukrainian” position. The text of the appeal was published on the official website of the Zhitomir Regional Council on November 20.

“We urge you, Your Eminence, to support the process of uniting Ukrainian Orthodoxy and join the historical process of receiving the Tomos on autocephaly,” says the document signed by Zhitomir Regional Council chairman Vladimir Shyrma, head of the Zhitomir Regional State Administration Igor Gundich and mayor Sergei Sukhomlin.

The Zhitomir authorities also warn that the metropolitan should be careful and not fall victim to provocation.

“We ask you not to succumb to the Kremlin’s provocations and refrain from actions that can incite religious confrontation within our state and religious schism,” the statement says.

The authorities express confidence that the Unification Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches, where a new Primate will be elected, will finally dispel doubts about the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

As the UOJ reported, the head of the Legal Department of the UOC Protopriest Alexander Bakhov said that today the bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are pressured into attending the “Unification Council”. Earlier, in the Nezhin diocese, representatives of local authorities broke into the eparchial premises and began to demand support for the autocephaly, and in the Zaporozhye eparchy, Tomos supporters held a picket, shouting slogans of aggressive content.

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