Metropolitan Mark of Germany on persecution of UOC: Hitler did not go that far

23 January 12:43
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Metropolitan Mark (Arndt) of Germany and Berlin. Photo: pravoslavie.ru Metropolitan Mark (Arndt) of Germany and Berlin. Photo: pravoslavie.ru

The ROCOR bishop is sure that denationalizing UOC hierarchs and starting criminal cases against them at Christmastide is not a coincidence, but a form of persecution.

ROCOR Metropolitan Mark (Arndt) of Germany and Berlin, who was born in 1941 in Nazi Germany, believes that the Ukrainian authorities treat the Church worse than Hitler did in his time. The bishop stated this in an interview with pravoslavie.ru.

Asked whether it is possible to draw parallels between the persecution of Christians under Hitler and the current situation in Ukraine, he said: “Unfortunately, it is impossible. Hitler did not go as far as the Ukrainian authorities do. He tried to create a ‘church’ that would depend on him and his government or be under their absolute control, but he did not particularly succeed. Even Protestants and Catholics who operated under the Hitler regime were not persecuted in one way or another.”

The ROCOR hierarch is sure that searches, deprivation of the clergy of the UOC of Ukrainian citizenship and initiation of criminal cases against them during the great Orthodox holidays is a "refined form of persecution."

“Of course, this is not just a coincidence. As I have already said, even Hitler did not invent this,” the Metropolitan emphasized.
According to Vladyka, depriving the UOC of the right to serve in the Assumption and Refectory churches of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and granting such a right to another denomination is “a clear sign of persecution of the Church.”

“The absurdity of the situation lies in the fact that after the fall of Soviet power, these historical and religious objects, which had always belonged to the Church, were further left in the Soviet spirit under the control of secular authorities. They were not returned to the Church, although the Church restored them on its own – in the hope that sooner or later all this property would be transferred to it, as happened in other countries. But nothing like this happened in Ukraine,” the bishop said.

According to him, "something similar occurred in Montenegro the year before last, and people went to the barricades."

“There is no such movement in Ukraine, people there are completely intimidated. Therefore, the authorities may, at their own discretion, extend or terminate the lease agreement for church property,” Vladyka said.

He compared the persecution of the Church in modern Ukraine with the persecution of Christians in the first centuries of our era.
“All these efforts are aimed at declaring the UOC non-existent or banning its activities throughout Ukraine. It has already been outlawed in certain regions, and now it is being persecuted throughout the country,” the archpastor said.

He also warned believers against moving to the OCU in the event of outlawing the canonical Church: “I think it would be wrong. For those who do this, such a step will cause spiritual harm, because the OCU is not a church organization, it was created by the secular Ukrainian authorities, the state, and does not have real church communion. This is manifested even in the fact that they do not have monks at all. Let's say the St. Michael's Monastery in Kyiv, which is in their possession, stands empty."

As the UOJ reported, earlier Metropolitan Mark said that intensified searches in the apartments of bishops, priests, believers, in the monasteries and temples of the UOC are a method of intimidation, and "Ukraine is very far from being a democratic state."

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