Bishop Gedeon (Kharon) deported to the USA
The Abbot of the Tithe Monastery of the UOC was led to the aircraft, accompanied by automatic riflemen.
Early in the morning of February 14, 2019, Bishop Gedeon (Kharon) of Makarov was deported to the United States. The night before, at the Borispol airport, without any explanation of the reasons, the SBU officers detained him, while the State Border Service officers expropriated his passport.
Spokesman for the head of the State Border Service, Oleg Slobodian, stated that “the border guards fulfilled the instructions of one of the law enforcement agencies” (SBU – Ed.). At the same time, the official said the reason for such expressive actions of the law enforcement. According to him, Bishop Gedeon "is engaged in anti-Ukrainian propaganda and is an active adept of the 'Russian world'."
Vladyka tried to contact the lawyers but they did not let the Bishop get in touch either with lawyers or MPs. Vladyka felt ill; the ambulance team Boris was called.
“I was not allowed into Ukraine due to my citizenship being ostensibly cancelled and not valid, although I left 15 days ago and there were no problems and no court decisions were made,” said Bishop Gedeon in his video message.
The priest stressed that his detention was motivated by “simply because the passport was allegedly lost,” although there were no statements from him about the loss of documents.
“It is all about the religious and political pressure,” stated Vladyka Gedeon.
“Just fancy it! The head of the frontier service of Ukraine recognizes that Bishop Gedeon (Charon) is a citizen of Ukraine. But on the grounds that he is an “adept of the Russian world,” the bishop is being deported from Ukraine! I repeat: a citizen of Ukraine is not allowed into his country on the basis of his views! Law? Constitution? No, they have no idea about it ...” journalist Vladimir Kornilov commented on the explanations of Oleg Slobodian about the arrest of the UOC bishop.
As reported by the UOC Information Center, the abbot of the Tithe Monastery’s detention took place on the eve of the Supreme Court’s session on the claim to invalidate the appeal of Parliament to Patriarch Bartholomew on granting the Tomos. The information about the meeting, scheduled for February 14, is posted on the website of the Supreme Court of Ukraine.
“In October 2018, several lawsuits were filed to the Supreme Court of Ukraine to declare unlawful and repeal the decree on Tomos, including from Vicars of the UOC Metropolitan Gedeon, as well as Gorodnitsky Monastery of the UOC, and the community of the Berdiansk St. Nicholas church of the UOC,” writes a resource. “In November, the Supreme Court merged the proceedings upon the suit of Bishop Gedeon and the community of the Berdiansk church into one proceeding. Thus, Bishop Gedeon, who was detained on Wednesday at the Borispol airport, is supposed to appear now as a plaintiff in the Supreme Court in the case of non-recognition of the Verkhovna Rada's decree on Tomos.”
Due to the deportation, Bishop Gedeon will not be able to participate in the court session on February 14. In what format it will take place and whether it will take place at all is unknown.
“Dear brothers and sisters! Thank you all for your support! I ask your prayers that the Lord strengthen us all for further work in the glory of our Lord and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” wrote Vladyka Gedeon, who had been deported to the United States today.
Recall that on Wednesday evening, the abbot of the Tithe Monastery, Bishop Gedeon of Makarov, was detained in Borispol after his visit to the United States, where he held a working meeting with the government's congressmen. At the meeting, Bishop Gedeon highlighted the situation regarding the violation of the international rights of believers, and also spoke about the radical attacks on the temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the beating of believers, and the oppression of clergy from radical paramilitary organizations.