Leader of Rivne "Myriany" urges Uniates not to persecute UOC processionists
Tetiana Tsaruk noted that believers belonging to any Christian denomination respect the efforts of UOC processionists.
Tetiana Tsaruk, the leader of the Rivne branch of the NGO "Myriany" (“Laity”) called on Greek Catholics, who make up the majority of the population in the Ternopil region, not to obstruct the UOC believers who are participating in a cross procession to the Pochaiv Lavra. She made this statement in a video message posted on her Telegram channel.
Tetiana commented on media reports about a planned provocation against the cross-procession participants in the Ternopil region.
"This is terrible. Aggression, hatred, malice. I feel sorry for these people because they don't allow pilgrims into their villages, they don't let the Mother of God in," she said.
According to the activist, believers from any Christian denomination show respect for the efforts of the processionists, who pray, humble themselves, and voluntarily endure hardships while walking many kilometres under the scorching sun.
"Most of the population in the Ternopil region are Greek Catholics. However, 'Greek Catholic' doesn't mean 'aggressor,' it doesn't mean 'criminal' who would violate the Constitution and target someone based on their religion. 'Greek Catholic' means 'Christian' who should respect the image of the Mother of God, be grateful that someone, yes, Orthodox and not Greek Catholic, will pass through their town, pray, and hopefully, the Mother of God will protect them, turn away all evil," Tetiana said.
She called on residents of the settlements through which the cross procession passes to support its participants: "Approach them, offer water, ask if they're hungry. Help in any way you can, you won't become poorer, and it's already a good deed."
"I'm sure that God will hear the people participating in the cross procession. Approach them and say, 'Perhaps you're praying for one of your relatives who is protecting us at the frontline. Pray also for my brother, father, godfather, etc.' That's what it should be, not aggression, malice, hatred, and violence. Thank God we have people in Ukraine who can pray, who believe in prayer and remain Christians. Look at their happy faces, their kindness and love. I'm sure that the Mother of God will greet the processionists at the Holy Dormition Lavra and everything will be fine. But think about how much sin people accumulate by causing discomfort to the believers!" emphasized Tetiana, the leader of the NGO "Myriany" in Rivne.
As reported, on 22 August 2023, deputies of the Ternopil Regional Council banned UOC pilgrims from going in a procession on the territory of the region.