Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is telling hundreds of thousands of Christians in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to flee the country and “return” to Russia, even though their homes are in Ukraine. Since these Ukrainian citizens are on friendly terms with the Moscow Patriarchate, Poroshenko refers to them as “representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church”, and he tells them to get out of the country.
The president made his threatening statements at the International Conference, “Lessons of the hybrid decade: what you need to know to successfully move forward”. An excerpt from his speech can be seen in the following video (Ukrainian language):
Ukraine is home to over 12,000 churches that are part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Until recently, all Orthodox churches in the world recognized this as the only legitimate Orthodox church in Ukraine. This is the church being threatened by President Poroshenko.
While addressing the so-called “representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine”, President Poroshenko said that this group of Christians needs to get out of the country:
“My dear, you have nothing to do here. There is nothing for your Church to do . . . . Go home to Russia!”
The Patriarch of Constantinople has been complicit in these developments. He recently joined himself to the schismatic church group in Ukraine, and he claimed to remove the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from Russian Orthodox Church authority. Thus the churches in Constantinople and Moscow are now in schism with one another.
Poroshenko said that “the Russian Orthodox Church is an element of the Russian political system”. In making such a statement, he may be referencing Vladimir Putin’s claim that Christianity is the foundation of the Russian nation.
President Poroshenko urged the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Churches not to delay the convocation of a “unification Council”. He also added that Ukraine has waited for the bestowal of the Tomos for a long 1030 years, “right from the time of the Baptism of Rus”
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