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Ministry of Foreign Affairs points out flagra…

Ministry of Foreign Affairs points out flagrant violations of the rights of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine

DECR Communication Service, 14.03.2023. 

On March 14, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sent letters to UN Secretary General António Guterres, Chairman of the UN General Assembly Csaba Körösi, OSBE Chairman-in-Office Bujar Osmani and OSBE Secretary General Helga Mari Schmid, drawing their attention to flagrant violations of universal human and constitutional rights of Orthodox believers in Ukraine, MFA website reports.

The basis of these violations is the repressive policy of the Kyiv regime aimed at destroying the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The letters contain many facts related to the persecution of the canonical Church, including mass seizure of churches and the forced illegal liquidation of their communities under the guise of allegedly voluntary transfer to the jurisdiction of another church, in addition to the so-called restrictive measures (“sanctions”) against bishops of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the stripping of a number of hierarchs of Ukrainian citizenship, as well as moral and physical pressure on priests and parishioners.

Mr. Lavrov called the actions of the Ukrainian authorities “a flagrant violation of the rights of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine, running contrary to international legal documents such as the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion or Belief, to name a few. Lavrov regards “the recent decision of the Kyiv authorities to expel monks from the Kiev Lavra of the Caves as an attempt to deprive the canonical Orthodox Church of one of its main holy sites under a far-fetched pretext. In effect, this is a peak of the persecution of canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine.”

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs called on the international leaders to give a principled assessment to the illegal actions of the Ukrainian regime against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and to demand “that Kyiv stop its arbitrary actions and repressions against the canonical Orthodox Church, strictly abide by Ukraine’s commitments under generally recognized international documents, and prevent the forced eviction of monks from the Kiev Lavra of the Caves.”

On March 11, 2023, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ addressed the Primates of the Local Churches and a number of religious leaders and representatives of international organizations with messages sharing his profound concern over the resurgence of intense state pressure on Orthodox Christians in Ukraine.

On March 13, members of the Standing Commission for International Cooperation in the Area of Human Rights under the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights addressed international human rights and humanitarian organizations and religious leaders of the world, calling them “to impede the lawlessness of the Ukrainian authorities and to prevent the destruction of one of the main holy sites of Russian Orthodoxy, the oldest monastery in Rus’ – the Kiev Lavra of the Caves.”


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