Bishop Victor: Pressure on the UOC has led to mobilization of our laity
The emergence of the public union "Miriane" showed to the enemies of the Church the resolve of a large number of believers to stand up for the UOC, the hierarch said.
The head of the Representation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to European International Organizations, Bishop Victor of Baryshevka, in an interview with the Internet portal Pravoslavie.RU, spoke about the reasons for the emergence of the public union "Miriane" in Ukraine and its support among the believers of the UOC.
According to the bishop, the emergence of the union is due to the fact that the Church in Ukraine was persecuted and pressured by the authorities, as was the case in previous eras. He compared the "Miriane" and the brotherhoods of the 17th century, which played a very important role in the fact that Orthodoxy in Ukraine was not destroyed under the onslaught of Catholics and Uniates. “The brothers defended the rights of the Orthodox population; they were engaged in the publication and distribution of Orthodox literature, enlightenment of the people, deeds of mercy and many others. Today, the "Miriane" are doing practically the same thing, only using modern methods of protecting their rights and modern means of communication,” said Bishop Victor.
At the same time, he named an important difference between the circumstances of the emergence of organizations in defense of the Church in the past and now, which lies in the fact that at the turn of the 16th-17th centuries the overwhelming majority of the bishops of the Kiev Metropolis evaded union with Rome, and after the creation of the OCU in 2018, only one ruling bishop of the UOC and one vicar joined the schismatics. “All the rest remained faithful to the Church and did not succumb to threats and persuasions. Consequently, the ‘Miriane’ do not act independently of the hierarchy, but, on the contrary, with their blessing," the bishop noted.
The hierarch of the UOC said that this union was received with great enthusiasm by the Orthodox community, the organization’s local cells were officially registered in almost all diocesan centers in a short time, and the new Orthodox organization continues to grow in numbers. “A huge number of believers, including representatives of art and science, politicians, journalists, and ordinary citizens of the country, are ready to defend the Church of St. Prince Vladimir, to serve it with their faith, talents and abilities,” Bishop Victor summed up.