News agency 'Vchasno'

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine Asks the UN and the European Union to Protect the Church and Believers in Occupied Donbas

The Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has decided to appeal to the United Nations, the European Union, the OSCE and the countries guarantors of the Minsk process with a request to ensure protection from persecution in the occupied territories of Donbass and Crimea.

Believers in the occupied territories of Donbass and in the annexed Crimea are systematically persecuted by the occupying authorities, according to a statement made by the Orthodox Church of Ukraine on the official website of the church.

The Synod notes that the situation with the observance of the right to freedom of conscience and confession in CDDLE worsens and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine priests are persecuted, and from March 1 there was a threat of a complete ban on the activities of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the confiscation of its property and the «deportation» of priests.

«We appeal to the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the guarantors of the Minsk Process, the European Union and, in general, all democratic countries, international and interfaith institutions to influence those who decision making depends on these territories in order to stop the escalation of persecution of our church», the message says.

Earlier, the occupation authorities of the Donetsk region declared to the priests and parishioners of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine of the Kyiv Patriarchate in the so-called «DNR» that on March 1 they would take away all the property of the church and begin the deportation of the clergy to the territories controlled by the Ukrainian authorities.

This is due to the fact that the militants have obliged all churches in the territories they occupied to re-register under the laws of the so-called «DNR», but the conditions of this re-registration are impossible.