Metropolitan Varfolomiy of Rivne and Ostroh
Metropolitan Varfolomiy of Rivne and Ostroh urged believers to keep the Orthodox faith.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of today is experiencing hard times of his life. This is stated in the appeal of the Metropolitan of Rivne and Otrogskogo Bartholomew, the website of the diocese of the UOC.
“His eyes we see the lies you want to fight the truth, says the Lord Bartholomew. Since the beginning of the war in the East of Ukraine, began a systematic pressure on the Church through false propaganda. It spread through the media. All this led to a confrontation between our churches. Our attempts to reach out to the authorities with a request to protect the rights of believers of our religious communities have not been successful. Through prayer and a solid standing in the Orthodox faith of our priests, ordinary people, we managed to keep the spiritual life in the religious communities, where they captured the churches of the dissenters. The forces of the believers in these villages are built new temples. In particular I want to spiritually support and to celebrate the feat of the parishioners of the Dormition Church of S. Avian, Dubno district. For four years they are in the courts defending the right to enter his temple, which is closed. Day and night, being near the temple, with prayer believe that God’s Truth will win.”
The Hierarch thanked God that the clergy and faithful of the diocese of Rivne steadfastly stand in the Orthodox faith.
“During the mad pressure, lies, confrontations our pastors suffer for the souls of their parishioners and are a model for them, said the Bishop. – Today we face new challenges. With a goal of a certain pressure and intimidation by the SBU call our bishops and priests for questioning. Increasingly, officials there are opinions about the ban of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Verkhovna Rada on 20 December adopted the law unconstitutional 5309, which will require our Church to change its name. In connection with carrying out in Kyiv on December 15 so-called unification Church in places already artificially created religious conflict, which aim to force you to drive in a new religious-political organization of the PCU. Again, through the television, Newspapers, radio, the Internet, there is a propaganda in order to excite people, to sow distrust and doubt.”
Metropolitan Bartholomew urged believers to keep the Orthodox faith, defend its interests, to be brave.
“Remember the words of our Savior: “I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against It” (Matt. 16,18). To the extent possible, protect not only faith, but also our churches. Love and forgive each other,” concluded the Hierarch.
As reported by the SPM, 22 Dec 2018 Petro Poroshenko has signed anti-Catholic bill No. 5309, which obliges the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change its name as of the Church, “the control center which is located in the country-aggressor” and become a “Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.”