Address of UOC Chancellor to Congress of persecuted communities published
Metropolitan Anthony spoke about the specific steps that the UOC is taking to protect the persecuted communities.
On February 22, 2021, at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, the UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, addressed the participants of the Congress of representatives of the parishes of the seized churches of the UOC "Faithful", reports the UOC Information and Education Department.
Metropolitan Anthony addressed the clergy and believers of the persecuted communities with words of support and spoke about how the Church protects religious rights and freedoms.
According to the UOC Chancellor, those "who, not in word, but in deed – by the sacrificial deed of prayer, testified their loyalty to God and the Orthodox faith" gathered at the Congress of persecuted communities at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
“Outside the Church, as the Holy Martyr Cyprian of Carthage noted, there is no life. Therefore, it is very important for each of us to remain in its saving fold, it is this aspiration, not the phantom of political or other interests, that should be the core of our life path. Under other conditions, we risk not only losing the correct spiritual guidelines but gradually turning our faith and the Church into an instrument for serving various forces and ideologies,” said Metropolitan Anthony.
The UOC Chancellor added that these events demonstrate many facts, when “church canons are distorted for the sake of political interests, church unity is split” and spoke about the concrete steps taken by the Church in protecting the persecuted communities of the UOC.
According to Metropolitan Anthony, the Primate of the UOC has repeatedly appealed to the President of Ukraine to do everything possible to end discrimination against the UOC and its flock. A scandalous law was blocked through the courts, with the help of which they wanted to take away the official name of the UOC and create conditions for a large-scale raider seizure of churches, a telephone hotline of the Legal Department of the UOC was launched to record cases of church raiding.
The facts about the violation of UOC believers’ rights are constantly voiced at international platforms, UN and OSCE conferences on the topic of human rights.
“This is gradually yielding results. For example, thanks to the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee, it was possible to stop the process of eviction of our parishioners from the building that they own in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk,” said Metropolitan Anthony.
The Church devotes a lot of effort to building new temples for communities that have suffered from the raids of OCU supporters.
“According to our data, services are already being performed in 34 such rebuilt churches. The other 4 are currently under construction,” he added.
Summing up his speech, Metropolitan Anthony recalled the words of St. Isidore of Pelusium that “wars have begun against the Church more than once, but She has never been defeated. On the contrary, She always triumphed over those who tried to destroy Her."
As reported earlier, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry addressed the participants of the Congress “Faithful”.