"Ukraine has the right to defend itself from Russian aggression in the spiritual domain just as it defends itself on the battlefield," - Metropolitan Epifaniy
The Metropolitan stated this in an interview with "Ukrayinska Pravda".
"It is regrettable to see that the 'Russian world,' as one of the instruments of its aggression, has made use of church institutions. The Moscow Patriarchate, headed by Kirill Gundyaev, is in slave-like submission to Kremlin tyranny and serves as its tool. The entities of the Russian Orthodox Church, as recognized not only by us but also by independent international experts, were systematically involved in the preparation and implementation of aggression against Ukraine," stated the leader of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
According to Epifaniy, an essential part of Ukrainian resistance is a complete break with all ties of subordination to the Moscow Patriarchate, which part of the Orthodox community in Ukraine still has.
"On the surface, the religious organization calling itself the UOC [Ukrainian Orthodox Church] distances itself from its patriarch and the Russian Church, but in reality, it remains subject to them," said Metropolitan Epifaniy.
He believes that "the only way to correct this situation is through legislative prohibition for any religious organizations in Ukraine to have subordination to Russian religious centers."
Since the Kremlin has turned these centers into its centers of influence, from which religious leaders of various faiths, including Orthodox, Muslim, Protestant, and others, support the aggressor and justify its crimes.