In Ukraine, dissenters from the Istanbul Church, also known as the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, are increasingly preparing for the visit of their patron Patriarch Bartholomew to Kiev.
As is known, he is expected to arrive in Kyiv on August 24, when Ukraine celebrates its Independence Day. By this date it is necessary to show at least some success with the “tomos”. The continuing illegal re-registration of parishes by the local authorities and seizures of Orthodox churches by force have not improved the statistics of the dissenters, since each such case is public knowledge and is being challenged in court. So it is becoming increasingly difficult to pass off this lawlessness as “voluntary” conversion to the Istanbul Church. Despite the truly hellish work of the propagandists – adherents of tomos.
It must be said that a favorite technique of Ukrainian propaganda – sociological studies – is actively used. They have long been the talk of the town, because they are designed not to show the real state of affairs, but what the authorities need in one way or another.
At the end of June the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) carried out another “public opinion poll” which showed an increase of supporters of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine by as much as 10% compared to the previous year. Moreover, according to the KIIS, adherents of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine outnumber parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP) by almost two times. The same “poll” showed that 49% of UOC MP parishioners allegedly welcome Patriarch Bartholomew’s upcoming visit to Kyiv.
The method of telephone polling used by KMIS sociologists has long been questionable. However, as far as the church is concerned, the deserted temples of the Istanbul Church look more vivid than the blown-up numbers. For example, at the “service” of the head of the Khmelnytskyi Orthodox Church of Ukraine “bishop” Pavlo Yuristogo, there were far fewer parishioners than clerics. Moreover, the “service” was held on Ascension Day in the Cathedral of St. Andrew the Apostle, located in the regional centre. That is, in theory, there was a double reason to gather: the first service of the new “bishop” and a major Orthodox holiday. But the parishioners gathered once, twice and all… Maybe because the PCU has nothing to do with Orthodoxy?
“And what about the data of opinion polls? It is supposed to be the most influential confession in Ukraine”, – Archbishop Jonah (Cherepanov), vicar of the Holy Trinity Ioninsky Monastery of the UOC MP in Kiev, wrote on Facebook.
The situation is similar in the St. John the Theologian “temple” of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Nezhyn. A maximum of 10-15 people attend the services. But most often the “priests” have to serve in an absolutely empty room.
Against this background, which is absolutely joyless for adherents of the Istanbul accord, the publication of the results of the last poll of the Kyiv Council of Europe under the heading “Advertisement” looks more than interesting.
“Things seem to be going badly at all”, – this is how readers comment on these publications.
Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich), head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, commented on the results of this “study” of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology: “Somehow, miraculously it turned out that 49% of the flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church allegedly have a positive attitude towards the visit. But for any sane person it immediately becomes clear that these results are the absurdity. After all, how can almost half of the faithful of the UOC support the visit of a man, after whose decision the process of destruction of our Church was launched? How can we approve of the visit of the man who is responsible for the seizure of our churches, the beating of parishioners, and other violations of the fundamental rights of Ukrainian citizens? With so many alleged adherents of the head of the Fanar, how is it that the adherents of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine have to engage in raiding, rather than accept millions of new supporters into their ranks? …Behind the mentioned “figures” is a crude manipulation designed to create the appearance of support for the Patriarchate of Constantinople and its head in the Ukrainian church environment and to retransmit this appearance to the level of other Local Churches in order to try to convince them – albeit with a clumsy combination – in the alleged fallacy of the allegedly erroneous statement about the worsening of the split in Ukraine by the Phanar… Only people who are absolutely far from the current reality can believe the monstrous in their stupidity results of sociological research.
However, the head of the Fanar may well believe that supporters of the Tomos in Ukraine are multiplying before his eyes. Let us recall that at one time even the Maidan Nezalezhnosti, which accommodated a few tens of thousands of people, was somehow miraculously attended by “millions”. Pictures “from space” were especially impressive. Here, too, Fanar draws “cosmic” numbers. On the other hand, the danger of false sociology is that it will be relied upon by the Ukrainian authorities to come up with new ways of persecuting Orthodoxy and replacing it with fake ones – the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
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