On the cover image the metropolitan Onufriy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) has lodged a formal complaint with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres over “persecution”and “religious discrimination” by officials in Kiev.
In recent months, the UOC has been subjected to multiple hostile acts – including repeated searches by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) and stripping priests of their citizenship – due to historic ties with the Russian Orthodox Church.
“Since February 2022, Ukraine has been living in a full-scale war. In this terrible hour of military disaster and extremely difficult trials, we would like to ask you to pay attention to the gross violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion in Ukraine,” UOC head Metropolitan Onufriy told Guterres in his complaint, which was circulated by the press service of the Church.
Onufriy insisted that the UOC – formerly a subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate – was independent. The Church, as well as “millions of Ukrainians of other denominations, stood up for the integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine,” he said, noting that “many believers of the UOC defend their homeland with arms in their hands.”
The church declared independence from the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) early into the ongoing conflict, but the effort did not spare the institution from mounting pressure from the authorities. The SBU has carried out multiple searches at UOC churches across the country, alleging its clerics have been colluding with Moscow. Multiple hierarchs have been targeted with personal sanctions imposed by Kiev and some even ended up with their citizenship revoked.
“We hope for the timely adoption of all necessary measures aimed at countering the incitement of religious hatred and discrimination against believing citizens of Ukraine and religious organizations of the UOC, and the development of recommendations regarding the protection of religious freedoms and sending them to the Ukrainian government,”Onufriy stated.
Ukraine has experienced religious tensions for decades now, with multiple schismatic entities breaking away from the UOC. The most prominent split occurred back in 2018, when the rivaling Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was established through the direct involvement of former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko, becoming the largest rival of the UOC while contesting its religious sites and other property.
The entity, which managed to secure partial international recognition from other Orthodox Churches, apparently remains favored by Ukraine’s incumbent officials as well, with President Vladimir Zelensky openly pronouncing the need to safeguard the nation’s purported “spiritual independence” from Moscow.
Fabio is Director and Editor of Gospa News; a Christian Information Journal.
Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio, born on 24/2/1967 in Borgosesia, started working as a reporter when he was only 19 years old in the alpine area of Valsesia, Piedmont, his birth region in Italy. After studying literature and history at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, he became director of the local newspaper Notizia Oggi Vercelli and specialized in judicial reporting.
For about 15 years he is a correspondent from Northern Italy for the Italian newspapers Libero and Il Giornale, also writing important revelations on the Ustica massacre, a report on Freemasonry and organized crime.
With independent investigations, he collaborates with Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza in important investigations that conclude with the arrest of Camorra entrepreneurs or corrupt politicians.
In July 2018 he found the counter-information web media Gospa News focused on geopolitics, terrorism, Middle East, and military intelligence.
His articles were published on many international media and website as SouthFront, Reseau International, Sputnik Italia, United Nation Association Westminster, Global Research, Kolozeg and more…
His investigations was quoted also by The Gateway Pundit, Tasnim and others
He worked for many years for the magazine Art & Wine as an art critic and curator.