Bishop Gedeon is invited to take the floor in UNO and US Congress
His Grace is sure that with their actions Ukrainian authorities only proved the facts of discrimination of the UOC he had told about the day before in the US Congress.
After the deprivation of Ukrainian citizenship and the forced deportation from Ukraine, the abbot of the Tithe Monastery, Bishop Gedeon (Kharon) of Makarov intends to speak at the UN and the US Congress on persecution of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church by the leadership of the state.
“When all this happened, I started to receive calls from the US Congress, various politicians and journalists from CNN, Fox News and other world-famous media,” said Vladyka in a commentary for the publication Strana.ua. “It was a good proof of my words for everybody, those of my speeches which I had in the United States that politically-religious persecutions are taking place in Ukraine. Everything what I said was, in fact, evidenced by the authorities of Ukraine."
The hierarch stressed that he is a 100% citizen of Ukraine, “this is my country and no one will change that.” According to him, now he is in the United States as a Ukrainian political refugee and many here simply cannot believe in the accomplished lawlessness that “they will just expropriate my passport at the border and will not let me in my home country.”
“I used to speak in general about the facts of oppression, but now I have felt it all on myself,” noted the abbot of the Tithe Monastery. “I have already spoken in the US Congress, where some congressmen invited me, about the facts of discrimination of the canonical Church by the authorities of Ukraine and conveyed to the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and the American congressmen an official statement of the UOC in which we ask to consider cases of violation of the rights and freedoms of believers. Now they see a living example of the violation of human rights. And now I will hold meetings in New York and Washington to tell the truth about the situation in Ukraine. I have already been invited to the United Nations to make a speech there. Besides, the US Congress sent me an invitation so that I would tell about this anarchy."
Vladyka Gedeon recalled that the whole situation occurred on the eve of the meeting of the Supreme Court of Ukraine on the claim to invalidate the appeal of the parliament to Patriarch Bartholomew on granting of the Tomos, where he was to act as a plaintiff.
“Apparently, in order that I could not speak in court and prove that the Verkhovna Rada did not have the right to appeal to Bartholomew and was not authorized by the people of Ukraine to do this, the authorities took such measures. According to the Constitution, the Verkhovna Rada has specific rights and duties. Nowhere is it said that Parliament had the right to appeal to Bartholomew. Though they know their rights well, unfortunately, they do not fulfill their duties. And now they have become personal in order not to give me the opportunity to voice all this in court. This is another round of persecution of the Church. It is unthinkable for the bishop to be deprived of his citizenship and expelled from the country without trial or investigation,” said the Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and expressed the hope that “with God's help we all will withstand.”
Recall that 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.
As the UOJ reported, Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich, deputy head of the UOC DECR, assured that “the Church will do everything necessary to protect its hierarch and return him to Ukraine so that he will live in the country in which he was born.”