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  5. No dialogue with “patriots” who beat believers, – the UOC hierarch

No dialogue with “patriots” who beat believers, – the UOC hierarch

The position of the believers of the UOC is aggravated not only by the external war, but also by the war “on the internal front” waged by representatives of other Christian denominations and individual representatives of the authorities. This was explained in an interview with the hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshivka, for news-politis.com.

“Mainly in the west of Ukraine, churches still are taken away from us, our believers and priests are often beaten, and all this is happening against the backdrop of military aggression by the Russian Federation, as a result of which, for the most part in the east of the country, in whole or in part, from explosions or shelling, destroyed more than 70 churches of the UOC. The situation is so inexplicable that it boggles my mind: in the west of Ukraine, our churches are being taken away, and in the east they are being destroyed…

The Council in Feofaniya deprived the enemies of the Church of their main arguments. What for? To show that, in fact, those who oppose the UOC are not advocating for its independent status, but solely for destroying it. I have repeatedly had a chance to talk with our believers, who say that during the seizure of their churches, “patriots” respond to remarks about the independence of the UOC that this does not matter to them, because our Church simply “should not exist.” It is clear now that these people are “fighting” not for the “Ukrainian Church”, but for destroying the lawful canonical Church. So, as you can see, with the beginning of the war, the UOC found itself in very difficult circumstances…

Representatives of the OCU today are trying to make the most of the situation with the war. They turn the patriotic feelings of our fellow citizens not to unite Ukraine, which is being torn apart, but to take away our churches. In such a situation, dialogue is impossible, which, by the way, was also said by the Council on May, 27. The conditions for a normal conversation between the UOC and the OCU are very clearly defined: first of all, the representatives of the OCU must stop their aggressive activities against the UOC. We are open to dialogue, but in order for it to start, we must first of all stop beating our believers and throwing them out of the temples they have built…”.

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