UOC Chancellor: Less than 1% of UOC parishes transferred to OCU willingly
Metropolitan Anthony noted that people remain faithful to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church even in the face of direct persecution and harassment.
On August 16, 2021, the UOC Chancellor Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary said that after the granting of the Tomos to the OCU, less than 1% of the UOC parishes voluntarily transferred to this newly created religious structure, according to the Information and Education Department of the UOC.
Commenting on the seventh anniversary of the enthronement of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine, Metropolitan Anthony said that the last years for the UOC have been the years of trials, courage, fortitude and faithfulness to God.
“Our Primate has become a paragon of all these qualities. Thanks to his wisdom, reason and, above all, deep faith, our Church was able not only to adequately go through all the obstacles encountered on Her way, but also to continue Her development,” he said.
He said that “despite insane pressure from the previous government, as well as a large-scale information campaign against the UOC, less than 1 percent of the parishes of our Church voluntarily joined the ranks of the OCU.”
At the same time, “over these seven years, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has grown both qualitatively and quantitatively even amid external pressure and raider seizure of its churches.”
In particular, 466 new parishes have appeared (there were 11908 in 2014, and 12374 at the moment) and 30 new monasteries (228 in 2014, and 258 today). In addition, the number of clergy has increased from 11,970 to 12,456.
The level of interest in studying in theological institutions of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church also remains steadily high. For example, this year only 224 applicants were enrolled by the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary.
According to Metropolitan Anthony, “these years have clearly demonstrated that our Primate enjoys unconditional authority among believers,” and “many note that his position on the need to remain faithful to Holy Orthodoxy powerfully resonates in human hearts.”
“People remain faithful to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church even in the face of direct persecution and harassment. They build new temples to replace those taken away by supporters of the so-called OCU and continue to defend their fundamental rights in all ways guaranteed by the law,” summed up the UOC Chancellor.
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that, according to Metropolitan Anthony, the statements of the OCU about their readiness for dialogue are insincere.