UOC hierarch: Believers do not feel freedom declared by OP Head

29 May 2021 13:19
Bishop of Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka. Photo: antoniy.com.ua Bishop of Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka. Photo: antoniy.com.ua

Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) commented on the words of Andrey Yermak that all confessions now feel free and independent in Ukraine

Believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church do not feel the freedom declared by the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, but, on the contrary, face discrimination at almost all levels. Bishop Viktor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka, vicar of the Kyiv Metropolis and Head of the Representation of the UOC to European International Organizations, wrote about this in his tg-channel.

The hierarch recalled that at a meeting with the representative of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Metropolitan Emmanuel (Adamakis), which took place in Kyiv on May 27, the head of the OP Andrey Yermak said that all confessions in Ukraine feel "free and independent", while President Vladimir Zelensky "does not use the Church for political purposes.”

“Well, the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church wish the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky did not fall into the pattern of his predecessor in relation to the Church and did not try to leverage it to achieve whatever political goals,” Bishop Victor said.

He added that according to the Constitution, the Church in Ukraine is separated from the state, and therefore any attempts to use it, intervene in the internal church life and force it to follow a certain political ideology, "are not only unconstitutional, but also lead to defeat."

“In addition, the believers of the UOC do not currently feel the freedom declared by the Head of the President’s Office, but on the contrary, are faced with discrimination at almost all levels. And it’s not only about the seizures of churches, but also about anti-church laws, forbiding our priests to provide spiritual guidance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, about harassment from local officials, hate rhetoric in the media, and so on.

Therefore, it should be noted that really good words about freedom for all religious confessions should become a reality, rather than remain an elusive reality,” summed up the hierarch of the UOC.

Earlier, political expert Ruslan Bortnik called the theses of the authorities about the absence of religious problems a childish position, which causes outrage among millions of Ukrainians who disagree with this.

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