UOC hierarch: Believers must require the authorities to defend their rights
Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) believes that if the authorities do not respond to threats against the UOC believers, then Ukraine runs the risk of becoming Nigeria.
Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church demanded that the Ukrainian authorities respond duly to the threats against the believers of the UOC, which were voiced during the seizure of the church in Vinnytsia region.
Vladyka recalled in his telegram channel that a few days ago during an attempt to seize the temple of the UOC in the Vinnytsia region, a group of representatives of the OCU threatened the believers of our Church that they would be "slaughtered like pigs".
According to the hierarch, such statements "should not be perceived as a ‘figure of speech’, since if left unpunished, they may well result in specific actions."
As an example, Vladyka cited Nigeria, where 3462 Christians were killed in the first 200 days of 2021 alone.
“Christianity continues to be the most persecuted religion in the world. The number of Christians killed in a year in all countries of the world is comparable to the number of those killed in hostilities. In the face of all of this, the world community is either silent or expresses ‘concern’. But more often than not, it does not take any specific measures,” Bishop Victor emphasized.
He is sure that “any violence on religious grounds should be severely condemned, and all criminals should be brought to criminal responsibility. And it does not matter at all which countries we are talking about. It doesn't matter what forms this violence takes – one needs to respond to it. Otherwise, sooner or later, verbal threats turn into beatings and massacres."
Therefore, Vladyka believes, “as citizens of Ukraine, we have the right to demand from the authorities the protection of our rights and freedoms, as well as an appropriate, legal response to such hate speech. After all, if there is no such response, Ukraine runs the risk of becoming Nigeria,” the hierarch summed up.
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that, according to Bishop Victor (Kotsaba), every believer should have an active church position.