Russian Patriarch urges opposition to proposal changing status of Orthodox churches in Ukraine
May 18, 2017
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has asked Pope Francis and other religious leaders to exert their influence against a proposal to amend Ukrainian laws to withdraw protection from religious bodies that are under the influence of an “aggressor state.”
Because Ukraine currently defines Russia as an aggressor state, the Patriarch said, the proposal would “threaten the constitutional rights of millions of Ukrainian believers,” who are affiliated with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church subject to the jurisdiction of the Moscow patriachate. He warned that the measure, if passed, could lead to “a wave of violence and new seizures of churches” in Ukraine.
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