Ukrainian Security Service opens case against priest for posting St. George Ribbon on Facebook

February 8, 2018. The Security Service of Ukraine initiated an administrative case against cleric of the Vinnitsa Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), Doctor of Theology Hieromonk Ioann (Kurmoyarov), who posted a card in Facebook depicting St. George ribbon on May 9, 2017.

Fr. John explained that he had posted an image of the card on his Facebook page on May 9, when millions of people in Ukraine published the same image on their pages. There were no complaints about it at the time, but now, nearly a year later, local police and Security Service agents have begun to call on him for an explanation.

Fr. John also noted that he has already given the police all the necessary explanations, but a court hearing will still be held soon. Fr. John faces a fine of 850 to 2,250 UAH ($31-$83). He has since reposted the card on his Facebook page.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine banned the St. George Ribbon in Ukraine on May 16, after Fr. John had already posted the card and ribbon. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the bill into law on June 12, reports RadioFreeEurope. According to Article 58 of the Ukrainian Constitution, laws are not to work retroactively.

Photo documents from Fr. John’s Facebook page

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