Andrey Sadovoy, the mayor of Lviv in western Ukraine, announced on April 6 that the two Ukrainian Orthodox Churches in his city were no more — the Church of St. Vladimir was demolished by backhoe and the Church of St. George was made part of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, backed by the Zelensky government, reported RT, the website Orthodox Christianity, and The Kyiv Independent.
The Church of St. Vladimir was under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church, as was the Church of St. George. Under President Volodomyr Zelensky, some churches formerly attached to the Russian Orthodox Church have, in recent years, voted to join the recently formed Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU).
The mayor of Lviv said that the history of the canonical Orthodox Church in the city is “completed”
Today, the wooden church of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir was demolished, and supporters of the schismatic OCU also seized the church of St. George the Victorious pic.twitter.com/Oc8jNhXbJt
— dana (@dana916) April 6, 2023
The OCU was established by the Ukrainian government in 2018-19 and is recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
For many churches that want to stay within the Russian Orthodox Church, however, Zelensky has ordered that they be shuttered. He claims that the churches are allied with Moscow and are manipulating “the spiritual life of our people.”
Commenting on the situation, FNC’s Tucker Carlson said, “Zelenskyy’s secret police have raided monasteries across Ukraine, and even a convent full of nuns, and arrested dozens of priests for no justifiable reasons whatsoever and in clear violation of the Ukrainian Constitution, which no longer matters. And in the face of this, the Biden administration has said nothing. Not one word. Instead, they continue to push to send Zelenskyy more tax dollars.”
In recent weeks, Zelensky has ordered the monks who inhabit Kiev Pechersk Lavra, “the holiest Orthodox monastery in the country, which dates back to the 11th century,” to depart, reported RT and other media.
“Metropolitan Pavel, the UOC abbott of the monastery, was arrested last week and accused by the Ukrainian security services of inciting religious hatred and ‘justifying and denying Russian military aggression,‘” reported RT.
Russian officials are demanding that Metropolitan Pavel be released, stating his arrest is religious persecution.
“The Kiev regime stubbornly ratchets up its policy of moral terror against citizens and the faithful,” said the Russian Foreign Ministry.
According to Orthodox Christianity, “[I]n the village of Novopoltavka in the Nikolaev Province, a wooden Orthodox church was set on fire,” and “a few days ago, radicals even disrupted the funeral of a fallen soldier at the Cathedral of St. George in Lvov, evicting the faithful and seizing the church.”
Also, on April 2, “about 500 anti-Orthodox activists stormed the cathedral [Holy Protection Cathedral in Khmnelnitsky] to physically seize it. The raiders later staged a fake vote to ‘transfer’ the church to the schismatic ‘Orthodox Church of Ukraine,'” reported the Orthodox Christianity website.
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