Sviatogorsk Abbot: Persecution only consolidated faithful people of Ukraine

Abbot of Sviatogorsk Lavra Metropolitan Arseny. Photo:

Metropolitan Arseny said that during the persecutions of Poroshenko’s government, the UOC only has grown and strengthened.

In Cyprus, in the framework of the II International Conference "Monasticism and the Modern World," the abbot of the Holy Assumption Sviatogorsk Lavra, Metropolitan Arseny, spoke about the current situation of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine, the Monastic Bulletin reports.

The metropolitan recalled that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church did not ask the Constantinople Patriarchate for autocephaly and the appeal of the parliamentarians to Patriarch Bartholomew was an exclusively political step.

According to him, despite the persecution launched by the government of Petro Poroshenko, the UOC has only grown: over the past five years, 30 new monasteries and 184 parishes have emerged. In total, the UOC has 12,500 parishes, 258 monasteries (including 3 Lavras), 439 clergymen, 100 bishops, the hierarch recalled.

“Sometimes one has to hear such an opinion that the Ukrainian Church is diminishing due to the events taking place in the country in recent years. But the Church does not shrink but only grows,” said Metropolitan Arseny.

As reported by the UOJ, at the International Conference “Monasticism and the Modern World”, Metropolitan Nikiforos of Kykkos declared that the decisions of the Patriarch of Constantinople regarding the “Ukrainian issue” were non-canonical.

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