Metropolitan Clement urges authorities to stop terrorising UOC believers
Met Clement considers it shameful that in Ukraine, there are people in law enforcement agencies who persecute citizens at the state's expense for their religious beliefs.
The head of the UOC Information and Education Department, Metropolitan Clement of Nizhyn and Pryluki, commented on the situation around the denial of pilgrims of the Chernivtsi Eparchy to pray at the Pochaiv Lavra, reports the UOC Information and Education Department.
Vladyka said that the events that occurred on March 24 in the city of Chernivtsi, related to not allowing the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to go on a pilgrimage to the Pochaiv Lavra, stirred up not only the religious community in Ukraine but also caused "a great resonance of concern from our Orthodox brothers abroad.
He stressed that the incident, which occurred in Chernivtsi due to the connivance of law enforcement agencies, "goes beyond all limits of both Ukrainian law and morality".
"It is extremely painful to watch footage of police and other law enforcement officials forcibly dragging women, children, and mothers of AFU soldiers from the bus, and, in addition, threatening pilgrims with some kind of sanctions," said the bishop.
He added that "there is information that the buses owned by the carriers in order to make the pilgrimage were confiscated, it seems, for the needs of the AFU, but no documents about this were issued, so there is a great reason to say that these buses were simply stolen by law enforcement agencies and it is unlikely that they will reach the AFU."
According to the bishop, "representatives of the law enforcement agencies resorted to extremely aggressive methods, intimidating believers by handing out summonses and sending them to hot spots if they visit Orthodox shrines".
"It is probably precisely such actions of law enforcement bodies that are the biggest discredit to the patriotic duty of every citizen of Ukraine, and of course it is a shameful fact that we have exactly such people in law enforcement agencies who persecute citizens on their religious beliefs at the state's expense, at the state budget", said Metropolitan Clement.
"The Ukrainian Orthodox Church calls on the leadership of the state, representatives of the authorities to intervene in this situation in order to make impossible once and for all such unpunished terrorist actions of law enforcement agencies against ordinary believers," the head of the Information and Educational Department resumed.
As reported, Chernivtsi police did not allow a bus with pilgrims to visit the Pochaiv Lavra. Later it was reported that the buses transporting believers to Pochaiv were confiscated for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and one of the drivers was summoned to the military enlistment office.