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The Metropolitan of the UOC MP Luke about the criminal proceedings for incitement to religious hatred in Kiev: I am ready to explain and give evidence

Metropolitan Luke: And we kindle? Fueled by his presence?

Photo: Zaporizhia diocese of the UOC / Facebook

Metropolitan of Zaporizhia and Melitopol Luka (Andrei Kovalenko), representing the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), said at a press conference on January 12 readiness to testify in the investigation of criminal proceedings against the UOC-MP for “inciting religious enmity and hatred”, reports “Interfax-Ukraine”.

According to the Metropolitan, after the events in the churches of the diocese of Zaporizhzhya has instituted some criminal proceedings. “If necessary, I am ready to testify under oath. Several criminal cases. As I learned from the official report, we instigated, committed incitement to religious hatred. But insult us. And we kindle? Fueled by his presence? But we are citizens of Ukraine”, – said Luca.

He stressed that the priests of the Moscow Patriarchate in Zaporizhia diocese, nobody forbids to speak the Ukrainian language, although in the address of the diocese heard these charges.

“I do not know such prohibitions. What canonically is selectively infringement of religious freedoms and the rights of believers. We have canons, and we live by those canons, which has more than two thousand years. I am ready to explain and give evidence. I have nothing to fear. I will tell the truth,” said the Metropolitan.

January 10, priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate Anatoly (Reutov) stated that it had decided to cease service in this Church after the scandal because of his performances in the Ukrainian language at the meeting of the Zaporozhye diocese. The priest told us that in the Holy virgin protection Cathedral held a meeting under the chairmanship of the Metropolitan of Luke. Those present discussed, in particular, review of father Anatoly in social networks criticizing the Pro-Russian course of the UOC-MP. At the camp the priest asked me to speak in Russian. “Interfax-Ukraine” notes that the priest Anatoly was suspended from the priesthood “for contempt of the clergy, the arbitrariness in the Commission of pastoral obedience, expression (publication), which leads to discord and detrimental to the image of the mother Church” by the decree of the Metropolitan of Luke.

The situation of the UOC-MP is tense after the incident in Zaporozhye, when the priest of the UOC-MP Yevgeny Molchanov refused to bury two boys killed in the accident. Cause clergyman said, is that the child was baptized in the Kyiv Patriarchate. Metropolitan Luke said that his subordinate did the right thing.

In protest to the temples of the UOC-MP in different cities began to bring toys. In social media launched the hashtag #prineslo.

January 6, local media reported that near the Church in Zaporizhia, where the action took place #prineslo, unknown assailants beat up several people. Police in the Zaporozhye region was stated that it is not found near the temple, where the action took place #prineslo, neither the victims nor the attackers.

On 11 January the Prosecutor’s office opened criminal proceedings concerning the actions of individual representatives of the Zaporozhye diocese of the UOC-MP. Proceedings initiated under part 3 of article 161 of the Criminal code of Ukraine (violation of equality of citizens depending on their race, national origin, religious belief, disability and other grounds) in respect of members of the Church, the organization “Orthodox Union “Radomir” and other unidentified persons who had committed “deliberate acts aimed at inciting national, religious enmity and hatred, insult the feelings of citizens in connection with their religious beliefs.”

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