President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine will limit the activities of religious organizations affiliated with Russia on its territory and will question the status of the Orthodox Church dependent on the Moscow Patriarchate, reports AFP.
“The National Security and Defense Council instructed the government to propose to the Verkhovna Rada a draft law to make it impossible to carry out in Ukraine the activities of religious organizations affiliated with the centers of influence in Russia,” said Volodymyr Zelensky in his video intervention on Thursday evening.
The Ukrainian state will also have to “ensure the religious expertise of the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church regarding the presence of a canonical link with the Moscow Patriarchate and, if necessary, take the measures provided by law”.
These measures follow the searches carried out in November by the Ukrainian security services in the main monastery of the capital Kyiv, the residence of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and in several other places of worship, against the background of suspicions of links with Moscow. The Ukrainian services later claimed that, following these searches, they confiscated several thousand dollars and “pro-Russian literature”.
Ukraine, a majority Orthodox country, is divided between a Church subordinate to the Patriarchate of Moscow – which, however, announced that it would sever ties with Russia at the end of May due to the invasion – and a Church represented by the Patriarchate of Kyiv, which, in 2019, took an oath of faith to Patriarch Bartholomew, based in Istanbul.
The Russian Orthodox Church, whose patriarch Kirill I is an important supporter of President Vladimir Putin, denounced the searches carried out in Ukraine as “an act of intimidation” of believers.
Source: Cotidianul RO by www.cotidianul.ro.
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