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Orthodox Church of Ukraine evicted from cathedral in Russia-occupied Crimea

“This decision by the occupying authorities reflects the policy of systemic oppression of the Ukrainian Orthodox community in temporarily occupied Crimea.” This is correct. His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has noted the fact that “already from the early 14th century, when the see of the Kievan Metropolis was moved without the canonical permission of the Mother Church to Moscow, there have been tireless efforts on the part of our Kievan brothers for independence from ecclesiastical control by the Moscow center. Indeed, the obstinacy of the Patriarchate of Moscow was instrumental in occasionally creating repeated mergers and restorations of ecclesiastical eparchies, uncanonical elections of Bishops as well as schisms, which still afflict the pious Ukrainian people.”

His All-Holiness also noted that “a study of the matter in the light of the sacred canons does not justify any intervention whatsoever by the Church of Russia.” That applies to occupied Crimea as much as does to other areas.

For more ChristianPersecution.com coverage of Russian actions against the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, see here.

“Ukraine’s MFA condemns OCU eviction from cathedral in Russia-occupied Crimea,” Unian, August 5, 2020:

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) condemns the eviction of the community of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) from the Cathedral of the Holy and Equal-to-the-Apostles Volodymyr and Olha in Simferopol.

“This decision by the occupying authorities reflects the policy of systemic oppression of the Ukrainian Orthodox community in temporarily occupied Crimea,” the ministry said in a statement on August 5.

Only a week ago, the Russian occupying administration handed over to Archbishop Klyment an order on the demolition of the temple in Yevpatoria, the ministry said.

In the course of the last year, the occupying administration detained Archbishop Klyment himself without justification in March, refused to register the local religious organization following his application in April, and terminated the lease of the premises of the acting cathedral in June.

In July 2019, all the church utensils of the diocesan administration were stolen from this cathedral under the guise of building renovation. “Oppression of the Ukrainian Orthodox community in Crimea aims at erasing the Ukrainian identity on the temporarily occupied territories and is a part of the policy of oppression of all religious communities in Crimea uncontrolled by Moscow,” the ministry said….

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