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  5. Metropolitan Varsonofy urged local authorities not to incite religious confrontation in the Vinnytsia region

Metropolitan Varsonofy urged local authorities not to incite religious confrontation in the Vinnytsia region

Metropolitan Varsonofy of Vinnitsa and Bar made an appeal to the deputies of the Vinnitsa Regional Council in connection with their proposal to ban the UOC in Ukraine.  The text of the appeal was published on the official website of the Vinnitsa diocese.

The hierarch of the UOC noted that the UOC is the largest religious organization in the Vinnytsia region.  He recalled that on November 2, 2022, a meeting of the Permanent Commission of the Vinnitsa Regional Council on Education, Religion, Culture, Youth and Sports was held.  Following the meeting, the deputies supported the appeal to the Verkhovna Rada with a proposal to ban the UOC in Ukraine.

“Most members of the commission are probably deliberately slandering the faithful of the UOC with the following statements: “The UOC-MP ideologically substantiates and supports the war, and also justifies the war crimes committed by Russia on the territory of Ukraine.”  Probably, the whole world has already seen that the Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry, condemned the aggression of Russia and the actions of Russian President Putin on the first day of the war.  Also, I, like all the administrators of the dioceses of the UOC, together with the clergy, condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.  There were no “ideological justifications”.  If some believers or ministers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have an anti-Ukrainian position or the laws of Ukraine are violated, they bear personal responsibility for their own actions or violations.  The official position of the Church is expressed in the decisions of the Holy Synod and the Council of the UOC,” said the Metropolitan of Vinnitsa and Bar.

“Dear deputies, I hope for your wisdom, do not incite religious confrontation in the Vinnitsa region.  During the war, all the people must unite for the sake of universal victory!  Do not play along with the enemy in this extremely difficult time for Ukraine.  I ask you not to interfere in the affairs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but to join forces in helping our defenders and Ukrainians who suffered from the war,” the bishop Varsonofy concluded his address.

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