Bishop Viktor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevsky, Head of the Representation of the UOC to European International Organizations, reminded the authorities that a war against the Church is not only a struggle with God and a challenge to one’s own salvation, but also the end of a political career and a stable life. The interview is published by the Information and Education Department of the UOC.
“Immediately after Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople granted Tomos of autocephaly to two schismatic structures of our country, during the first few months our believers experienced a surge of previously unheard-of pressure on the Church. The seizures of temples and attempted seizures were often accompanied by acts of vandalism and physical violence by adherents of the OCU. In our churches, doors were broken; there were cases when the Holy Gifts were thrown out into the street, the throne was taken out. Several times believers of the UOC, including elderly people, were severely beaten. All this happened with the connivance or tacit consent of the previous government.
With the coming to power of Vladimir Zelensky, the situation has become somewhat different. In particular, at the level of the central government there was an attempt to maintain a certain parity. At least that was until Zelensky invited Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukraine. But at the level of local authorities, unfortunately, in many cases the problems have not disappeared. For a long time, our President managed to maintain neutrality, which is now to some extent violated in favor of the OCU. However, such a position is deliberately losing, as evidenced by the results of the rule of the previous President of Ukraine Poroshenko. I just want to remind you that in the history of the Church, the support of the structures that have broken away from Her and the trampling of the age-old church canons have never led to anything good. The war against the Church is not only a fight with God and a challenge to one’s own salvation, but also the end of a political career and a stable life. It is not for nothing that the Holy Scripture says to give Caesar’s things to Caesar, and God’s things to God, ”wrote the hierarch.
Earlier, the head of the Representation of the UOC to European international organizations, Bishop Viktor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevsky, explained why millions of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church oppose the visit of the head of the Church of Constantinople to Ukraine.