Moscow Patriarchate impedes free decision-making of communities, OCU Archbishop says at OSCE meeting
During an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe meeting on April 1, Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya), an Orthodox Church of Ukraine representative at the European institutions, said that the Moscow Patriarchate is exerting informational and legal pressure to impede the free choice of denominations by Ukrainians. The hierarch wrote this on his Facebook page.
According to the Archbishop, after the Tomos of autocephaly was granted to Ukraine, the movement towards accession to the Ukrainian Church began.
“Religious communities make a decision on affiliation in their general meetings whether they are willing to belong to the Russian Church or the Ukrainian Church,” he said.
“The Moscow Patriarchate is trying to impede free decision-making of the communities. This involves information pressure and legal pressure, the spread of accusations in the traditional Russian propaganda style,” added the hierarch.
“I reiterate that the Ukrainian Church stands for the right of every religious community to make their unimpeded choice under the law to which religious center it wishes to be subordinated.
This complies with the general right to freedom of religion and belief. We oppose violence and have repeatedly condemned all appeals to violence in matters concerning the Church. We are open to a constructive dialogue with all the parties involved, including the OSCE,” said Archbishop Yevstratiy of the OCU.