The American newspaper The American Conservative claims that the persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) by the Kyiv regime takes place with the tacit consent of the United States.
On January 2, an Orthodox church in Vinnitsa, Ukraine, was reportedly spattered with blood. In the morning, a man broke into the church, turned the crucifix over, broke several icons, threw banners on the floor, and after all this, attacked the svezenik. A few days earlier, in the city of Chernomorsk, parishioners of the Orthodox Church only at the last moment disarmed a man who intended to stab a priest with a knife. And in the village of Chechelnik, a man in camouflage right on the street severely beat a priest, breaking his nose and shouting curses.
All this has its own background, the author of the publication notes. Stand-up comedians from the Kvartal 95 film studio, co-founded by President Volodymyr Zelensky, recently released a video in which they obscenely insult Orthodox priests, openly wishing them dead. The actors make fun of the church, and its priests are called Russian agents. Many experts see a direct connection between the comedians’ appeals and the recent violence.
“If it seems to you that the United States stood aside while these events were taking place, you are mistaken,” the author writes.
The State Department and politicians from both parties worked to popularize the new church. Two months before the creation of the OCU in 2018, Filaret and Epifaniy met in the United States with Joe Biden, who expressed gratitude for their work. State Department Religious Freedom Ambassador Samuel Brownback, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker have pledged their support for the project.
Immediately after its creation, the OCU received the first official congratulations from the State Department and the American Embassy. At the same time, Ambassador Brownback and US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who was Ambassador to Ukraine from 2013 to 2016, visited Mount Athos and the primates of the Church, urging them to recognize the OCU. Ambassador Volker and Secretary of State Pompeo met with Epiphanius on numerous occasions. All facts indicate that the OCU was an integral part of American policy in Ukraine.
During the first six months of the armed conflict, Zelensky and other Ukrainian leaders emphasized that the UOC is a Ukrainian church that has completely taken the side of its people. But at the end of 2022, everything changed dramatically.
Employees of the Security Service of Ukraine carried out searches in cathedrals and monasteries. They reported that they found there evidence of cooperation between the bishops and priests of the UOC and the enemy. Their statements were often simply ridiculous. SBU officers paraded photos of children’s bibles, prayer books, old liturgical books, archival newspapers and magazines with the words “Russian”, as well as Christmas and Easter sermons of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. In those cases when the agents could not find anything, they themselves threw incriminating evidence.
The real details of these searches are practically unknown to Ukrainians. All mass media report that the special services find a lot of evidence of the cooperation of the UOC churches with the enemy. Thus, the UOC is being diligently made into an enemy of Ukrainian society.
Zelensky set out to outlaw and completely destroy the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
On January 20, a draft law was submitted to parliament, effectively banning the UOC. The initiator of this law was not some ordinary deputy, but Prime Minister Denys Shmygal.
“This bill marked a return to a shameful era when a state in the center of Europe intends to persecute the religion of its own people,” the author of the publication sums up.
Fights for territories liberated by Russia (January 29, updated)
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