Russian MFA reports active pressure on Churches in order to recognize OCU

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Photo: RIA Novosti

Sergei Lavrov stressed that behind the creation of the OCU is the US, which has set out to undermine the position of World Orthodoxy and does not bother to hide it.

Sergei Lavrov, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, said that active pressure is being exerted on a number of Local Orthodox Churches to force them to recognize the OCU and called on "to leave the Church alone". He said this on September 10, 2021 at a forum in Sochi, answering journalists' questions, according to the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The minister stressed that the United States is behind the formation of the OCU, which has set out to undermine the position of World Orthodoxy and "does not bother to hide it". According to him, there is information about attempts to create the same autocephalous non-canonical structure in Belarus, he also referred to the situation in Montenegro, where “President Djukanovic <...> tried to create problems for his government and at the same time show his American and other Western colleagues his determination to fight Orthodoxy."

The head of Phanar "is directly dependent on the United States," added Sergei Lavrov, and now some Churches are "hammered hard" into recognizing the head of the OCU Epiphany.

“The Greek Churches made this compromise with their conscience. Both the Greek Orthodox Church and the Cypriot Orthodox Church are now actively working upon the Antioch Orthodox Church (there are parishes of this Church in Syria, Lebanon and a number of African countries). There were also attempts to persuade the Patriarch of Alexandria, the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the leaders of the Churches of Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania to follow the same path.

The efforts are very vigorous, and the clergy are being exposed to very tough pressure. Therefore, we know what we are talking about. We call publicly to leave the Church alone,” stressed the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Earlier, Sergei Lavrov said that Washington directly manipulates the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

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