Kiev to crack down on Russian Orthodox Church

Ukraine’s home safety company has launched a sequence of raids at a number of non secular websites

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has introduced new measures searching for to ban non secular establishments deemed to have hyperlinks with Russia. He mentioned the move is meant to safeguard the nation’s “spiritual independence” amid Kiev’s battle with Moscow.

The assertion comes because the SBU, Ukraine’s home safety company, launched what it referred to as a “counter intelligence” motion at a number of Ukrainian Orthodox Church websites in three areas. The raids focused at the very least eight non secular websites on Friday, aiming to determine people suspected of undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Writing on Telegram, Zelensky mentioned on Thursday that the National Security and Defense Council had held a gathering, which centered on “numerous facts of ties of certain religious circles in Ukraine with the aggressor state.” The Council has instructed Ukraine’s authorities to introduce a regulation to make it unattainable for “religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence” in Russia to function within the nation, Zelensky mentioned.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s state watchdog chargeable for overseeing the non secular sphere was ordered to determine whether or not the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has non secular hyperlinks with the Moscow Patriarchate. 

The Council additionally accused Russian particular providers of “subversive activities” within the non secular sphere and instructed all nationwide safety our bodies to “identify and counter” these alleged efforts. According to Zelensky, Kiev may even impose private sanctions on quite a few people, with the record anticipated to be printed within the near future.

The Ukrainian authorities additionally intend to examine whether or not non secular organizations have the best to make use of property positioned on the territory of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Zelensky mentioned in an obvious reference to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which at the moment administers the location.

Last week, the lavra, which is taken into account to be essentially the most distinguished Orthodox Christian monastery in Ukraine, was raided by the SBU. The company mentioned it wished to forestall alleged “subversive activities of Russian special services.” 

Ukraine has lengthy skilled non secular tensions, with quite a few entities claiming to be the true Ukrainian Orthodox Church, difficult the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate.

The two fundamental rival factions are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which declared independence from Moscow after Russia launched its navy operation, and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), which is taken into account by the Russian Orthodox Church to be schismatic.

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