‘Satanism’: Russian diplomat on Kiev stripping 13 Orthodox priests of citizenship
by TASS Russian News Agency – All the links to Gospa News articles have been added aftermath
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova branded Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s decision revoking Ukrainian citizenship of 13 priests of the canonic Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) as Satanism.
“And this is on Orthodox Christmas! This is pure Satanism,” she wrote on her Telegram channel on Saturday commenting on information on the relevant decree by the Ukrainian leader.
On Saturday, Ukraine’s Levy Bereg news outlet said citing its sources that Zelensky had signed a decree stripping Ukrainian citizenship of 13 priests of the UOC.
Since November 2022, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have been conducting a series of raids against UOC churches. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) claims that “pro-Russian literature and millions in cash,” as well as materials denying the existence of Ukraine” were found. Several members of the clergy were accused of high treason, sabotage and propaganda.
On December 1, Zelensky issued a decree to enact a resolution of the National Security and Defense Council on Certain Aspects of the Activities of Religious Organizations in Ukraine and the Application of Personal Special Economic and Other Restrictive Measures (Sanctions), essentially aimed at banning the UOC.
More specifically, he issued orders to submit a bill to parliament on banning “religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in the Russian Federation,” stepping up “measures to identify and counter subversive activities by Russian special services in Ukraine’s religious sphere,” and scrutinizing the Charter governing the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for signs of ecclesiastical and canonic links with the Moscow Patriarchate.
Putin in Christmas greetings notes Church’s role in supporting special operation fighters
Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended Christmas greetings to Russians and Orthodox believers, noting the role of church organizations in supporting the participants of the special military operation.
“I’m extending my hearty Christmas greetings to you! This bright holiday that’s loved by everyone inspires people for kind deeds and intentions, serves to establish in the society such enduring spiritual values and moral guidelines as mercy, compassion, goodness and justice,” he said.
The president noted the constructive contribution that’s made by the Russian Orthodox Church and other Orthodox denominations in Russia in the unity of the society, preservation of our historical memory, the rearing of the youth and the strengthening of the institution of the family.
“Church organizations pay priority attention to interethnic and inter-religious peace and accord in our country, take care of those who need help, support our fighters that participate in the special military operation. That large, multifaceted, truly self-sacrificing work is worthy of the sincerest respect,” he said.
As he ended his greetings, Putin wished to Orthodox Christians and everybody who marks Christmas health, success and all the best.