“Treason” and “Inciting religious hatred” – as questioned by the SBU Ukrainian priests

Secretary of the diocese of Rivne of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Archpriest Alexander Yegorov for Information and educational Department of UOC-MP spoke about the situation around calls to the clergy of his diocese for questioning by the security Service of Ukraine.

  • Extremists staged a provocation at the Cathedral in Sumy
  • Of bishops of the Ukrainian Churches call “talking” to the SBU – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
  • The Abbot of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra carried out a search
  • SBU was suspected of the canonical Ukrainian Church in the distribution of inflammatory pamphlets

— Father, tell me, please, who and for what reasons, was summoned today for questioning in the SBU?

– Received a summons for our priests. 14 priests have been called in for questioning: 13 – our of the diocese of Rivne and Sarny a priest-woodland. In these interrogations, which took place today, it all comes down to two articles: “high treason” and “Inciting religious hatred”. We are talking about the brochures that were spread in the churches of our diocese (although not only in our diocese). We understand that these brochures do not bear any threat to the sovereignty of our state. They give a correct estimate on some things regarding Orthodoxy. But they took with them, and incriminate it as inciting religious hatred.

Unfortunately, given the events that occur in the state today, martial law and the escalation of emotions in terms of “unifying Council”, the date of which is called specifically, all Thomas, we understand that there is enormous pressure to harass the priests, and especially priests active. With our diocese, the security Service was summoned, except for deans, almost all the priests who are responsible for maintaining Orthodoxy, or actively manifest themselves in the pursuit of our Orthodox churches.

– How was the interrogation?

– It should be noted that direct pressure was not any. All the priests were with lawyers. Asked certain questions, which they answered. We can’t say what was the conversation, because they signed non-disclosure agreements. What we know today is the presentation of two articles: “treason” is quite serious, and “Inciting religious hatred”. We regard all this as pressure and intimidation of the priests with the aim of force to drive us in the so-called “United Church.”

We know that in our diocese is collecting signatures in various institutions – hospitals, educational institutions. And we know is a verified information that, according to the instructions of the Chairpersons Selsky councils, activists are not asking our priests and not coming even in temples, collect some signatures with the requirement that our business Manager, Rivne diocese of the Metropolitan Bartholomew “rejected personal ambitions.” I repeat this phrase: “he rejected personal ambitions” and took part in the so-called “unification Council”. Rereading those statements which we have received from different organizations, we see that the text is almost the same. That is, it is a conscious form of pressure, blackmail, intimidation to force to take part in the so-called “unification Council” to support Tomos, etc. and one of the pressures on priests is the challenge.

– What is the mood of the clergy, who spent the whole day in SBU?

– You know, all the clergy, the mood is cheerful, joyful. We are pleased that we not only from books about the new martyrs who suffered in the past century, reading about their lives, learn how they endured. Today we did feel a little pressure, this is not even the persecution of the Church. And we are happy to be complicit in the unity of Orthodoxy in defending the Orthodox position, defending the position of a loving dear Primate of our Church, his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry, defending the positions of our bishops, who are so good at the bishops ‘ Council showed unity and showed us an example of how to defend Christianity.

– What can You say about the accusations?

They have no soil. Hung quite flimsy labels, yet second-class citizens. We are now trying to make second-class citizens. Today every educated person understands that we, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The “Moscow Patriarchate”, as we are certain journalists – it is attempt of pressure, we are trying to put are not patriots, they say that we don’t love Ukraine, we need to go somewhere. In fact, we’re not going anywhere – we were born here, we went to Ukrainian school, we got Ukrainian education, and we studied at the Ukrainian seminaries, we are patriots of their country, we love our state, to defend the interests of the state, recognize the integrity of our state. And yet, we adamantly Orthodox position – we are Orthodox, we stand on the foundations of Orthodoxy, which is our head, and the foundations of our Holy Church, from which we have received and What is given the oath of allegiance to God.

We will remind that on December 3 this year were searched in the cathedrals, rooms, temples and houses of priests Zhytomyr and Ovruch dioceses of the UOC.

“Law enforcement officers ignore the obvious facts of incitement to religious hatred against the Church and seek out the signs where there are none”. The Chairman of the Legal Department Archpriest Oleksandr bakhov 3 December this year, thus commented on the situation around the special attention of law enforcement and security service to UPC.

The information Department of the UOC

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