“Euromaidan SOS” calls for sanctions to be imposed on the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church for supporting aggression against Ukraine
The statement says that during the entire period of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine, Russian troops persecuted Ukrainian religious figures in the occupied and occupied territories, systematically destroying religious objects in Ukraine: targeted shelling and destruction of churches, houses of worship, synagogues, mosques and other religious buildings, including architectural monuments, were recorded. In addition, there are cases of abduction and murder of religious figures of different faiths.
"The vast majority of religious buildings destroyed and damaged due to air bombing and rocket attacks by Russian troops are Orthodox churches. For example, on the night of March 13, Russian troops fired at the Holy Dormition Svyatogorsk Lavra of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, where at that time there were about a thousand civilians, injuring more than 30... Patriarch Kirill (Gundyaev) of Moscow publicly blessed the Russian army to wage war against Ukraine... It was the Russian Orthodox Church that developed and the main propagandist the quasi-religious concept of the Russian World – a neo-imperial project that became the ideological basis of Russia's aggression against Ukraine. This essentially chauvinistic ideology denies the existence of the Ukrainian people as a separate nation, is based on distorted theology, rewriting the history of Kyivan Rus and Orthodoxy in Ukraine in favor of Moscow, extends narratives about a single people (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian) and tries to expand the expansion of Russia, including the Russian Orthodox Church, to all Russian - speaking regions of the world, regardless of state borders," the document says.
On the eve of the next congress of the World Council of Churches, the authors of the statement named those representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church who are "responsible for inciting hostility and justifying the war against Ukraine, call for violence and actually support Russian attempts to destroy the people of Ukraine. Given the high positions, authority and influence on the opinion of millions of believers, the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church should bear personal responsibility for the death of civilians in Ukraine, namely:
o Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch of Moscow Kirill (Vladimir Gundyaev), born on 20.11.1946, a citizen of the Russian Federation;
o Head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion (Grigory Valeryevich Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, previously - Dashevsky), born on 24.07.1966, a citizen of the Russian Federation;
o Deputy Head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, archpriest Nikolay Balashov, born on 13.12.1956, a citizen of the Russian Federation;
o Metropolitan Tikhon (Georgy Shevkunov) of Pskov and Porokhovsky of the Russian Orthodox Church, born on 02.07.1958; a citizen of the Russian Federation, known as Vladimir Putin's confessor and a person close to the Russian special services.
The authors of the statement urge:
o European Union countries, USA, UK and other G7 countries to impose personal financial, economic, migration and other sanctions on the above-mentioned religious figures of the Russian Orthodox Church, which would make it impossible for them to spread the ideology of the Russian World, its further propaganda in the international arena and justify Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine;
o World Council Of Churches to sever ties with these religious figures of the Russian Orthodox Church and at the planned Assembly of the Russian Orthodox Church in Germany consider the issue of excluding the Russian Orthodox Church from its membership and condemn the quasi-religious ideology of the Russian World.