Kiev, November 14, 2016
The primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Onufry addressed Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko with a request to prevent the use of religion in political manipulations and to protect the country’s faithful.
“Much to our regret, in our country today insults, threats, and calls for discrimination against the millions of members of our Church have become common. State authorities have as yet given no legal assessment of these phenomena which are shameful for a democratic society,” the message of the metropolitan to Poroshenko on behalf of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate reads.
As noted in the document, as cited by the press service of the Information and Education Department of the UOC-MP on Monday, there are no examples of politicians bearing responsibility “for the numerous cases of fomenting religious strife.”
“The present state of affairs forces us to speak about alarming tendencies in relations between the state and the Church. The same idea can be seen in the reports of many international organizations which watch over the observance of human rights and freedoms, for example the OSCE and the UN,” the address reads.
Metropolitan Onufry asked Poroshenko as guarantor of the constitution to make the necessary effort “to suppress attempts to use matters of religion and Ukrainian citizens’ confessional choice on the national level for political manipulations and settling a score between political opponents.”
There are currently three active Orthodox religious organizations in Ukraine: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate; the “Kyiv Patriarchate”; and “The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,” the latter two unrecognized in the Orthodox world. Since the beginning of combat operations in Ukraine the Church schismatics have taken over dozens of the UOC-MP’s churches, often assisted by local authorities.