Bishop Victor speaks about media hatred of UOC at OSCE meeting

Bishop of Victor of Baryshevka. Photo: news.church.ua

The Head of the UOC Representation to International Organizations spoke about the formation of a trend to crimes on religious grounds in Ukraine at the OSCE meeting.

On May 18–19, 2021, the head of the UOC Representation to International European Organizations, Bishop Victor of Baryshevka, took part in an OSCE meeting on freedom of the media held in an online format. The event was attended by the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro, diplomats from OSCE participating States, human rights defenders and journalists, reports the UOC Information and Education Department.

In his speech, Bishop Victor highlighted the main problems of the current situation of the UOC in Ukraine and especially emphasized the role of the media, both in covering violations of the rights of UOC believers and in the propaganda of hatred, which is often spread in the Ukrainian mass media.

Vladyka Victor stressed that impunity for violating the rights of the UOC faithful and negative propaganda in the media form a trend towards crimes on religious grounds.

As an example of media propaganda and hate speech against the UOC, the hierarch cited the following excerpts from articles: "In Ukraine, thousands of Kremlin agents in cassocks are clouding the minds of parishioners with daily insinuations, anti-Ukrainian literature is sold in the Kyiv-Pechersk and Pochaev Lavras, Moscow priests refuse to hold funeral service for dead soldiers." Bishop Victor also noted that representatives of the UOC are not given the opportunity to refute false facts or present an alternative point of view.

On behalf of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Head of the Representation of the UOC to European International Organizations called on the OSCE and representatives of the diplomatic circles to help improve the observance of human rights in the media sphere in Ukraine.

Earlier, Bishop Victor stated that the words of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said to the head of the OCU, Epiphany Dumenko during a visit to Kyiv, led to the seizure of the UOC church in Zabolotye.

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