Moscow patriarch not welcome in Kyiv, says Culture Ministry

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Patriarch Kirill with Vladimir Putin © AFP/File YANA LAPIKOVA

Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture has announced that a visit to Kyiv by Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, is undesirable.

Volodymyr Yushkevych, the head of the Department of Religious and Ethnic Affairs at Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture, explained his reasons in an official statement posted on the Ministry of Culture website, June 19, referring to the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate that currently taking place at the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra: Continue reading

UOC KP: Moscow is preparing a coup in the Ukrainian Church

According to the Kyiv Patriarchy, June 19th may the start of the Church division countdown

The Kyiv Patriarchy warns about the provocations surrounding the visit of the Moscow Patriarch Kirill to Ukraine on the Day of the Baptism of Rus, prepared by Russia.

The statement on the official web page of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchy says that the impression of danger to the head of the MP in Kyiv will be created using Russian propaganda.  Continue reading

Terrorists kidnapped, tortured, and threatened believers in Donbas

Donetsk Oblast – The militant terrorist organization Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) systematically implemented the provisions of its own ‘constitution’, which excludes religious freedom.

This is reported by the Institute for Religious Freedom based on an analysis of information on violations of the rights of believers in the Donetsk region by gunmen of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

On April 15, 2014, masked men with a Russian flag posted anti-Semitic leaflets near the synagogue in Donetsk on behalf of Dennis Pushilin, the self-proclaimed ‘People’s Governor’ of the DNR.

“All citizens of Jewish nationality over 16 years of age residing in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic are required to apply for registration with the Acting Commissioner of Nationalities in room #514 of the Donetsk Regional Administration building prior to May 3, 2014. The registration fee is 50 USD,” the leaflet said. Continue reading

Ukrainian Orthodox priest of Moscow Patriarchate addresses Orthodox ‘brothers’ in Russia

Hello. My name is Ihor Hryhola. I am a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate. I would like to address those citizens of the so-called “Russian World” who are eager to save Ukraine from Banderites and other “bad guys.”

Friends, Orthodox Christians, brothers and sisters! All of you who made the decision to “save” Ukraine, please, go to hell! What you are doing is horrible, it is dreadful. The degree of your downfall is terrifying. Do you understand? What the government of the Russian Federation is doing, and what, obviously, is being approved by the Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church – that’s a military aggression and the imperial ambitions, which, unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of the Russian people supports. Continue reading

Kidnapped Sevastopol priest released after interrogation

Crimea, Ukraine — A priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Mykola Kvych, was released late March 16, 2014, and allowed to go home after being kidnapped by armed representatives of (the new) Crimean authorities and the so-called “self-defense.”

As reported to the Institute for Religious Freedom by the Department for Pastoral Care in the Armed Forces of the Patriarchal Curia of the UGCC, the priest was held for twelve hours at the Sevastopol police station, where he was questioned harshly by local law enforcement officials who accused him of organizing provocations in Crimea. Continue reading