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Sep 18, 2022
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SBU fears “patriotic” transition of UOC-MP communities to OCU

The unequivocally declared victory suddenly began to sparkle with shades of anger. The Main Directorate of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Kyiv region unexpectedly announced that participation in meetings of parish communities for the transition from the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate to the ecclesiastical and political structure of the OCU is unacceptable, since this “creates prerequisites for destabilizing the socio-political situation in Kyiv and the region”.

Sbushniki ask representatives of local self-government to carry out explanatory work. This is stated in a letter from the Deputy Head of the Main Directorate of the SBU in Kyiv and the Kyiv region Yuriy Palahniuk dated September 7 to the address of the Darnytsia District State Administration.

Bases two. Firstly, the SBU refers that the holding of mass events for the period of the Law of Ukraine “On the introduction of a state of emergency in certain regions of Ukraine” is prohibited and “may pose a threat to the lives of believers due to the increased risk of missile attacks and sabotage that the Russian Federation can commit” .

Secondly, “the holding of such fees can be used by representatives of the UOC to appeal against actions in court”and the special services of the Russian Federation “for accusations of infringement of the UOC, incitement of interfaith hatred and the use of protest potential to destabilize the socio-political situation in the state”.

At the same time, the department says: “The SBU does not interfere in any way in religious processes in the state, but acts solely for reasons of national security. At the same time, we are well aware that Russia does not stop trying to undermine the socio-political situation in Ukraine and, in particular, uses the religious factor for this… The SBU monitors potential threats and informs the authorized structures.”.

Glavred Lb.ua Sonya Koshkina writes in her column: “In our realities, the question of the church is more than about religion, rather, it is closer to geopolitics. After all, it is the ROC that is the creator and ideologist of the “Russian world”, under the banner of which the “fighting Buryats” (here – a collective image) Ukrainians are being killed.

The result of the appeal of the SBU was unexpected. According to the publication “Left Bank”, the head of the SBU removed the author of the ban, Yuriy Palahniuk, from his post. The SBU stated that Palahnyuk’s letters were sent on his own initiative and are not the position of the Service. That is, the authorities are sure that the transition to the OCU does not pose a threat to national security, but, on the contrary, will only strengthen it.

In August, the head of the Khmelnitsky regional military administration, Sergei Gamaly, reported that in the region “during the war, 119 religious communities of the UOC-MP decided to change their religious affiliation”. According to him, 89 communities moved to the OCU, and 30 to “independent Orthodox communities”I “There is information about another 42 religious communities that are preparing documents for the legal registration of their transition to the OCU”. Recall that in May, in Brovary and Konotop, local authorities banned the activities of the UOC-MP.

In the summer, a press release based on the results of a study by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) “The Dynamics of Religious Self-Identification of the Population of Ukraine” stated: “In general, 54% of all respondents identify themselves as members of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Only 4% now identify themselves with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Also, another 14% consider themselves simply Orthodox, without specifying the patriarchy.” The reason for the mass transition is called “Russian aggression”.

However, despite the official data, the process of transition from one ecclesiastical jurisdiction to another is met with resistance. In September, despite the provocations organized by the OCU raiders, the community of All Saints of the Cherkasy land in the village of Khutor confirmed its loyalty to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).

Inc. corr. FSK

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