50 parishes of Ukrainian Orthodox Church have been seized in recent years

March 1, 2018. According to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, 50 parishes of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church have been forcefully seized by the non-canonical Kivien Patriachate in recent years, reports Interfax-Religion.

“It’s a very difficult situation in Ukraine. There are real persecutions against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. 50 churches have been forcefully seized in recent times. There are constant attacks on churches, priests are beaten… There are videos where a priest in vestments is covered in blood, he is called an occupier, but he’s a Ukrainian, born in Ukraine, and speaks only Ukrainian. They beat him only because he’s in the canonical Church, which the local authorities call an occupying Church,” the patriarch said in an interview with Bulgarian media, on the eve of his visit to Bulgaria.

The primate also expressed his regret that the West does not criticize Ukraine for violating human rights and religious freedom, and not just violations, but an “unspeakable violation, with the use of violence; it’s all been recorded—on television and in various documents.”

“We greatly hope that all these political turbulences in Ukraine will pass, the people will live again peacefully, will respect human rights, religious freedom, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will continue its ministry. There is such hope. We pray for it,” the patriarch concluded.