Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany:
The Situation with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Echoes the Persecution of the Early Christians
Kiev’s effort to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is reminiscent of the persecution of the early Christians, but worse, in the opinion of Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany as reported by RIA Novosti.
“In my opinion, this situation… echoes the persecution of Christians in the first century. Only it is worse, because it is being committed by people who had been parishioners of our Church, and now take action against her,” said the Orthodox cleric.
According to the hierarch, the Ukrainian regime is seeking to declare the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as null and void as a Church, and strives for its complete prohibition throughout the territory of the country. “If the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is already banned in certain regions, they are seeking to have her banned everywhere,” said Metropolitan Mark.
As noted by the archpastor, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which was granted autonomy by the Russian Orthodox Church, was under immense pressure by the Kiev regime forced to break ties with her.
“They no longer commemorate the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, which is a canonical absurdity, and agreed to do so to avoid persecution. Still, it apparently means nothing for the government and for those who wish the Church to be subjected to persecution,” concluded Metropolitan Mark.
In 2022, the Ukraine regime launched the most widespread persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the modern era. Pointing to her ties to the Russian Orthodox Church, local administrations in various regions of the nation decided to ban the activity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and its parliament introduced legislation for its effective prohibition. Several clergy members have been sanctioned as well.
The security service of Ukraine has begun to file criminal charges against clergymen of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, undertaking “counter-intelligence measures,” raiding the premises of bishops and clerics, in churches and monasteries, including Kiev-Caves Lavra, searching for evidence of "anti-Ukrainian activities.” In early January 2023, the government confiscated the Trapeza Cathedral from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, was well as Uspensky Cathedral, the main temple of the Kiev-Caves Lavra, which was turned over to schismatics of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” for “divine services.”