His Beatitude Onuphry tells about true patriotism and nationalism

His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine. Photo: news.church.ua

The Primate of the UOC believes that nationalism gives rise to divisions and conflicts, while true patriotism is manifested in a person’s love for God and neighbor.

The Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine, spoke about what true patriotism is and how it differs from nationalism. He said this in an interview as part of the new documentary project “Hello, Brother! Christ is Risen!”, published on May 5, 2020, the UOC Information and Education Department reports.

According to the Primate, “nationalism is when a person focuses on the earthly”, on the country of his/her origin: “In Russia they say that the Russian nationality is the best, in Ukraine – that Ukrainian is the best nationality,” said the UOC Primate. The manifestation of nationalism most often does not end there, “as it expands further”, the Archpastor emphasizes. “Then the North begins to say that it is better than the South, while the South says that it is better than the North, and the Center says that it is better than anything else. So it comes to the point that it [nationalism] splits the family,” he added.

This leads to man’s internal contradictions, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry explains: “Conscience says that you are God's creation, that you are a handful of earth from which God made such a beautiful creature, and life has been blown into this creature,” but man “forgets about it” and begins to overestimate his own significance.

Such an internal war, according to the Primate, gives rise to conflicts in families, in villages, in cities, and in the world. “Therefore, the beginning of any war is a division,” summarizes His Beatitude Onuphry.

Speaking of patriotism, Metropolitan Onuphry emphasizes that we must all be patriots. “A patriot is one who loves father and mother. ‘Pater’ means the father,” he notes. “We must all be patriots, we must love our father and mother. It is said in the commandment: “Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). If you honor your own father, then you honor anybody else’s father: I honor my father, but I also honor your father, because I know that it is your father, and God gave you life through him, just like through other fathers and mothers.”

Aсcording to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, a patriot is a person who loves all people, but without love for God this is impossible: “This cannot be done unless a person loves God, because the power of love comes from God. If we do not love God, our Heavenly Father, more than anything else, then we will not be able to love either our parents or their parents in the right way. Therefore, a patriot is a person who loves God and loves his neighbor: father, mother, brother whoever,” said the Primate.
 

As reported by the UOJ, on May 5, 2020, the premiere of “Hello, Brother! Christ is Risen!" documentary with the participation of the Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine, and hierarchs of the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches. Famous Ukrainian boxers Oleksandr Usyk and Vasyl Lomachenko took part in the filming, who spoke about friendship, faith and their path to God. A joint project of the Korsun Prince-Vladimir Hermitage (Orlov Oblast, Russia) and the Holy Assumption Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra was published on the YouTube channel of Korsun Hermitage.

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