Laity to Zelensky: Can UOC have at least a bit of your attitude to Jews?

27 September 17:08
Tetiana Tsaruk. Photo: screenshot from Tsaruk’s YouTube channel Tetiana Tsaruk. Photo: screenshot from Tsaruk’s YouTube channel

Tatyana Tsaruk invited the Jews to imagine what would happen if the authorities treated them the same way as the UOC.

The head of the Rivne branch of "Myriany", Tetiana Tsaruk, has issued a video appeal on her YouTube channel, calling on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to treat all religious denominations equally, without elevating some and demeaning others.

Tetiana pointed out to the President the "ostentatious pomp" with which he received representatives of Jewish communities in Ukraine. She questioned, "They say, what's wrong with that? It's a display of respect! A display of respect? Great!" She added, "I also want such respect for my people, my denomination, for the UOC. We have more than earned it, at least no less than the relatively small Jewish population in Ukraine, while still respecting them. But nothing of the sort! On the contrary, members of the Holy Synod of the UOC led by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry were not even allowed into the President's Office when they themselves requested a meeting."

She noted that if the President's attention to Jews is a display of respect for Jewish veterans, she fails to understand why the same attention is not given to Orthodox Christian veterans. "Aren't we all defending the same Ukraine? Or does the blood shed by them have less value?" Tsaruk questioned.

She asked Zelensky whether Orthodox Christians can expect even a fraction of the attention he devotes to Jews. However, she mentioned that Orthodox Christians are at least willing not to be harmed.

"- Don't take away our religious holiday dates, but congratulate us on them.

- Allow us to make pilgrimages to holy sites freely, just like other denominations, without mockery, as was the case with the grand cross procession from Kamianets-Podilskyi to Pochayiv.

- Show due respect to our defenders, their families, wives, and mothers.

- Stop imposing your rules on Orthodoxy. It's not up to you to decide how we should pray, when, and in which language; it's up to us, the believers of this Church," with these words Tetiana Tsaruk addressed Zelensky.

She also addressed the Jewish community, asking them to imagine for a moment if Zelensky "postponed your Rosh Hashanah, expelled you from your holy places, allowed practices that offend you as Jews, defiled sanctuaries, labeled you as outsiders and 'fifth column,' spiritual occupiers, and handed over synagogues to Muslims. If he ignored the contributions of your co-religionists to the country's defense, turned a blind eye to the humiliation of your relatives based on their religious beliefs!"

In her view, Jews would not be pleased with such a prospect.

"I appreciate the contributions of citizens of all denominations and faiths to our country's victory. I don't want to doubt your contribution, but I'm not going to downplay or silence the contribution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in defending and developing the state.

I'm against the colonial principle, where Ukrainian Orthodox Christians are treated as second-class citizens. When the rights of Ukrainian citizens are restricted, while guests and pilgrims from other countries are given free rein," Tatiana Tsaruk stated.

She clarified that "this is not anti-Semitism, it's about human dignity, the question of equality and justice. Because cemeteries with the graves of Orthodox defenders are springing up like mushrooms after the rain."

"I'm not sure the same is happening with Jews. Orthodox Christians are specifically subjected to pressure, it's simply exceptional," she concluded.

Previously, the UOJ reported that Zelensky received rabbis from all over Ukraine.

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