OCU calls on UN to aid the faithful in occupied Crimea

26.08.2020, 18:06
The Orthodox Church of Ukraine appealed to the UN Security Council to protect the Ukrainian community in the occupied Crimea and bring Russia back into the legal field.

This was discussed on August 26 at a meeting of representatives of the Church and the UN, the permanent representative of the President of Ukraine in the Crimea, the diplomatic corps in Ukraine, MPs of Ukraine, members of the government discussed the fate of the Crimea and the Crimean diocese of the OCU, according to the OCU Facebook page.

It was noted that Russia, which occupied Crimea, violates human rights and international law by intimidating the clergy and faithful of the Orthodox Church in Crimea.

According to Bishop Klymentt, the ministry of any priest in Crimea, if he is not registered in the territory of the Russian Federation, is considered ‘illegal missionary activity’.

Over the past few months, the oppression of religious freedom has become violent: for example, the center of the Crimean diocese of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine-the Cathedral of Sts Volodymyr and Olga in the city of Simferopol – was looted after the 'court decision'. The occupying state also demands the demolition of the temple in Yevpatoria.

“I appeal to the world community: help us preserve the Orthodox Church. Help us preserve the Ukrainian community. Help us bring Russia back to the legal field so that they can fulfill international agreements,” said Bishop Klyment.

Metropolitan Epifaniy, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, called on the Ukrainian authorities and the international community to do everything possible to achieve one goal: to stop the oppression and violence in the occupied Crimea and return it to Ukraine as a place of peaceful and dignified coexistence for all citizens of our state:

"The other day we celebrated the 29th anniversary of the restoration of independence of Ukraine. God grant that on the next anniversary, we can all gather and sing our anthem, raising the Ukrainian flag over the Ukrainian Crimea. Some people will say that this is a pipe dream, but if we believe in it and have hope in the Almighty, work together, then, of course, we can achieve this because the Lord can change everything in an instant. Few people believed that Ukraine would become independent. Just as few people now believe that Crimea may soon return. But if we did not believe and were not confident of this, we would not be here. This indicates spiritual strength, and if we are spiritually strong, we are adamant."