Сlergy of the Chernovtsy eparchy report pressure from authorities
The priests of the Chernovtsy eparchy appealed to the local authorities with an open letter, in which they called on them to stop the persecution of the UOC clerics.
The authorities exert pressure on the clergymen of the Gertsa deanery (Chernovtsy eparchy), inducing them to agitate for the OCU. That is said in a statement addressed to the head of the Gertsa District State Administration from Archpriest Longin, vicar of the Holy Ascension Monastery of Bancheny, and Archpriest Pavel Dumitru, dean of the Gertsa deanery. The text of the letter has been made available to the UOJ.
“We as citizens of our state of Ukraine want to report that from the side of state authorities criminal prosecutions and repressions of clergymen are being carried out and pressure is being exerted on the UOC clergy and faithful children of the Gertsa deanery,” the document says.
The letter says that priests are forced to walk around the village and agitate people to join the OCU.
“Pressure is being exerted on the chairmen of the village councils ... the clergy are threatened with reprisals: if they do not appear for interrogations, they will be brought by force. We want to ask our government why the law of Ukraine is violated. As far as we all know, the Church is separated from the state, such a norm is enshrined in Article 35 of the Constitution <...>,” noted the Chernovtsy eparchy officials.
The clergy ask the government of Ukraine to ensure security and protect human rights.
“We will confess the faith that Christ has left us,” the statement says. “We remain faithful to the Lord, our canonical UOC in the person of his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, and will serve, above all, God, the true Orthodox faith and the Ukrainian people, and in prayer communion we will be with the whole canonical Orthodox world,” the authors concluded their address.
The letter is signed by Archbishop Longin (Zhara) of Bancheny, as well as representatives of the clergy of the Gertsa deanery, the Chernovtsy eparchy.
Earlier, Archbishop Theodosius of Boyarka said that the pressure of the authorities on the canonical Church is due to the fact that the UOC is the last institution in Ukraine that does not lie.