UOC hierarch tells the US Congress of persecutions of the Church in Ukraine

Vicar of the Kiev Metropolis Bishop Gedeon (Kharon) of Makarov

Bishop Gedeon (Kharon) conveyed an official appeal of the UOC to the United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and congressmen of the American government.

On February 5, 2019, Bishop Gedeon (Kharon), vicar of the Kiev Metropolis, abbot of the Tithe Monastery of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God, presented the facts of discrimination of the canonical Church by the authorities of Ukraine to the US Congress, the Desiatinny Monastery website reported.

Bishop Gedeon told the US congressmen about the violation of the norms of international law and the Constitution of Ukraine by the OCU representatives, as well as about aggressive illegal actions of members of radical organizations and authorities against the canonical Church – beatings of believers and clergymen, attacks on temples and threats against clerics and laity of the UOC.

Bishop Gedeon also conveyed to the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and the American congressmen an official appeal of the UOC, in which the Church asks to consider cases of violation of the rights and freedoms of believers.

Representatives of the US government promised to sort out the situation around the UOC and help the UOC organize its own representative office in the United States of America. It turned out that the congressmen were not fully aware of the information about the religious conflict in Ukraine; they expressed regret due to the violation of the constitutional rights of believers.

On October 26, 2018, the representative of the US State Department for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, said that the United States supported the religious freedom of the Ukrainian people. “The US position is that any Church, any religious group of any kind <...> has the right to self-organize in any way that suits it. It is their right. The government should not interfere with how this right is exercised,” Brownback said then.

In December 2018, the Secretary of State of the United States, Michael Pompeo, held a telephone conversation with the head of the OCU “metropolitan” Epiphany, during which he urged to respect “the possibility of all Ukrainians to profess a religion of their choice.”

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