Rallies against UOC: the authorities let children go

11 April 10:54
Children are used in rallies against the UOC. Photo: UOJ Children are used in rallies against the UOC. Photo: UOJ

April 2023 began with “unlimited” takeovers in the west. The authorities gather crowds of people and take churches by storm. But children’s involvement in these offences is especially striking.

In early April, attacks on churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church were enhanced in Ukraine. Crowds of people gather at the central cathedrals of the UOC and forcibly transfer them to the OCU. No one hides the fact that all these people have nothing to do with the religious community. An aggressive crowd comes to the temple, storms and seizes. But the worst thing is that children are used in all this.

Standing at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. These children appear in the afternoon, when the lessons end. It is they who have been making the bulk of the extras near the monastery for many days.

Kamyanets-Podilsky. There has been a showdown near the UOC Cathedral since April 7. The crowd was gathered by the local authorities. And again, most of them are children and teenagers. See how they are walking around the temple.

Ternopil. Look at this "corridor of shame" through which parishioners of the UOC Cathedral are allowed to the church service. Note that there are only children in the frame.

Dnieper. Here, too, children are taken to protest rallies against the UOC. Look at their faces. They obviously do not even understand what they are protesting against and what they are doing here at all. Actually, the simultaneous appearance of children and teenagers near churches in many cities of Ukraine is hardly an accident.

These kids don't come by themselves. In the Lavra, the teenager confesses that he is here for the money. Kamyanets-Podilskyi groups write that children are paid UAH 200 for participating in rallies against the Church.

However, many are here not only because of the money. For children and teenagers, rallies against the Church are the same drive as going to a concert, football or a party like PMC Redan, where one can find an outlet for aggression and splash energy.

But just how does this fit with morality or law? In Kamyanets, teenagers are already simply physically attacking believers, trying to break into the temple.

Police say it is against the law for children to participate in rallies. Channel 5 and Poroshenko's party members spoke about the same. All this was before, when children were involved in rallies against the ex-president. Then they turned to the Ombudsman, the Children's Ombudsman, law enforcement officers and the Commissioner for Children's Rights. Today, Channel 5 does turns a blind eye to the children at rallies against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, because Poroshenko is personally interested in this.

However, it is not so important who brings children to churches – the current government or the past. It is important that such actions destroy both the children in particular and Ukraine as a whole.

We now have martial law, which prohibits any mass gatherings, and even more so those associated with conflicts and violence. On top of that, Ukrainian laws prohibit the participation of minors in such meetings.

Parents should be held responsible for such actions, people who send children to churches should be held accountable, law enforcement officers, who do not see at point blank range violations of children's rights, should be held accountable by the central government. And if this does not happen, it means this government is satisfied with everything.

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