The laity demand meeting with Phanar head if he comes to Ukraine

Prayerful standing of believers of the UOC at the Verkhovna Rada on June 15, 2021. Photo:

On the eve of the announced visit of the Patriarch of Constantinople to Ukraine, the believers of the UOC sent him an official letter.

Believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church demand a personal meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in order to explain to him the real church situation in Ukraine. This is stated in the official letter of the Public Union "Miriane", addressed to the Head of Phanar and published on Friday, August 13, in the tg-channel of the public union.

“If Patriarch Bartholomew arrives in Ukraine, we demand a meeting with him on August 21 from 9:00 near the Verkhovna Rada, where his meeting with D. Razumkov will take place,” the organization said, stressing that they want “to hear from him what he was motivated with when exacerbating the split, and how he is going to remedy what he has wrought."

A meeting request was drawn up by “Miriane” as an official letter. The UOJ publishes the full text of the document.

"We, the laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, know that you are going to stay in Ukraine between the 20th and 24th of August, 2021. We know that your meeting with the Head of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is scheduled for August 21st. We will gather near the building of the Ukrainian Parliament in order to tell you the truth about what is actually going on with Orthodoxy in Ukraine.

We want to reach you to inform about the social catastrophe which the actions of ex-President Petro Poroshenko brought to the Ukrainian land. Your decision to satisfy the petition of the former President of Ukraine and grant the Tomos of Autocephaly to the structure called the 'Orthodox Church of Ukraine' led to real persecutions against our canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the leadership of Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine.

Since the end of 2018 up to present, our temples have been subjected to mass seizures by adherents of the OCU, as well as radical nationalist organizations backing it. Believers and priests of the UOC are exposed to physical and moral violence. The forceful seizures gave rise to enmity and hatred on religious grounds. There are no 'peaceful transitions' being reported to you. Church communities of the UOC do not transfer anywhere –instead, their temples are simply taken away from them.

Dozens of new churches that have already been built over the recent time in the villages, where raiders from the OCU seized the property from the UOC communities, is the best case in point. Furthermore, hundreds more communities are forced to conduct their services in sheds, garages and other premises repurposed as temples or even just in the open air.

But despite everything, we remain faithful to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and to our Primate – Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine. And we are millions-strong.

We believe you have been misinformed about the developments in Ukraine; therefore we request a meeting in order to convey the whole truth to you and find a way out of the situation which our Church is faced up with.

Lay people from all dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will gather to meet with you on August 21 at 9 AM by Kyiv time on the square at the entrance to the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

We will be waiting for you and praying that the Lord will send peace to our land."

It will be reminded that earlier "Miriane" voiced an action plan in case of arrival of the head of Phanar to Ukraine.

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