In an interview with the newspaper “Day”, Pavel Korolyuk, cleric of the Ukrainian Orthodox Mission of St. Judas in Japan, spoke about his decision to remain in the jurisdiction of the OCU, despite the demands of the Tomos.
“Our Ukrainian Orthodox parish is the result of the unification of the Ukrainian community in Tokyo over 20 years ago. For most Ukrainians, it became uncomfortable to visit the ROC, which at that time was the only Orthodox church in Japan, so a group of families united and after a detailed discussion turned to the UOC-KP with a request to establish a mission here in Japan”, he said.
According to Korolyuk, then the community was financially limited and could not afford to invite a priest for a permanent stay in Japan. But one of the opportunities they were offered was to prepare and dedicate some of the local Ukrainian representatives for further service.
“I was the one who agreed, and as an elected congregation candidate I was trained by the Orthodox Archdiocese of Antioch in the United States of America. After that, I was ordained as a priest by His Holiness Patriarch Filaret and blessed to serve in Japan… Over the years we have been under the leadership of His Holiness Patriarch Filaret, today under the patronage of His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphany, where we hope to stay”, he said.
As Pavel Korolyuk noted, almost all the founders and parishioners are Ukrainians living in Japan. In addition, father Korolyuk helped to create a unique Ukrainian Sunday School in Japan in 2010.
In October 2019 it was reported that the head of the OCU intends to ask the Phanar to leave as an exception the vicariate in Japan, the United States and Canada as part of his structure. However, certain parishes in the USA and Canada remained with Filaret in the restored UOC-KP.